Clothes help bind us to our gender. They define us. But confine us? For Fall Winter and Pre-Fall 2018, Moschino teases, tests and twists the conventional boundaries of masculine and feminine in search of re-evaluation, liberation, and stimulation. Jeremy Scott says: “For this collection I wanted to play around with the idea of mixing masculine and feminine in an assertively subversive way. So as well some overt dress codes of gender – maybe pent-up pinstripe suiting for her, florals, lace and frou-frou for him.”
For Pre-Fall Moschino’s womenswear collection, Scott’s story features the firm smack of fetishised discipline; tailored jackets and pants, a dress, a white men’s shirt, and a parka all worn under PVC body-stockings and gimp masks. Some of these pieces are decorated with safety-pin attached patches on which words in tabloid font shout suggestively; “STUD”, “FETISH”, “X-rated”, “SPANK”, “PLEASURE”, “PAIN”, to name a few. Other pieces – like a Hepburn-perfect green tweed coat – come apparently unadorned until you investigate the attached corset on the back. Spaghetti-strapped, lace-edged black slip dresses are teamed with a tabloid-patch high-cut bomber jacket or tricep-high PVC gloves that gleamingly highlight the articulation of the limb.
A nuanced feminine overture sees Scott set on the appropriation and reprogramming of some of masculine clothing’s most fixed formal algorithms. The cummerbund is retooled as the center of gravity for a fitted black dress, teamed with a high-fronted tail-coat whose tails morph into button-holedold-school men’s suspenders. Suspenders – clipped and elasticated this time – are similarly deployed as unexpected masculine accents to hold up the bodice of a PVC booted bad-girl-show-girl look. Pinstripe or plain black tuxedos, reduxed and recut, are smokingly subversive; cut-away panels, inverted double armholes and midriff-hinting high waistcoats undercut the externalised language of formal masculinity with feminised depth. A pinstripe jacket is slashed apart across the sternum and held aloft – along with the bodice beneath it – by more suspenders.
One overtly decorative element is a series of pretty-silhouette dresses in often pleated printed silk crepe. The twist? Those prints, often abstracted by the in and out folds of the fabric, reproduce the sensually illicit Polaroids of Italian furniture designer Carlo Mollino. As well as a fiercely independent designer, Mollino had a secret passion for photographing always-anonymous one-time-only models in poses of apparent wantonness – here Scott takes these male-gaze made erotic images and reappropriates them for the female wearer.
The almost – but-not-quite – crescendo for Pre sees a series of archetypally feminine gowns in maroon velvet or black silk played against a black strapless gown that features a bias cut train cut in the shape of an enormous black satin glove.
Just as Scott articulates his much in his female looks via a language conventionally deemed masculine, so he inverts the process in Moschino’ s Autumn Winter 2018 menswear collection.
Here the story features with less slap, more tickle. Mirroring Pre, we see those tabloid-font patched parkas and tailored pieces reissued, all worn below equestrian helmet-caps that whisper of the riding crop. Tailcoats are cut away at the shoulder and then held up by suspender. The bad-girl-show-girl look is mirrored in an ensemble of tailcoat (whose tail is feminised with soft gather and fold) cummberbund, and black PVC underpants. An artificially unfinished pinstripe double breasted jacket is delivered with just one breast, to be worn jauntily off-the-shoulder. Tailcoats and tailored pants come in ditzy floral, while in outerwear more conventionally masculine fabrics – gray tweed, russet wool – are lent a jolt of gender-fluidity via the insertion of panels and trains in floral or jewelled boucle at the back.
Moschino woman and Moschino man come together – conjoined by a tandem tuxedo jacket built for for two and linked at the tail. Apart yet together. Mutual objects of opposition and attraction. Women and Men.
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