Katie O’Brien commemorates creative director Jeremy Scott’s tenure at the house of Moschino following his shock retirement announcement.
To mourn or to celebrate? Depends on who you ask.
Jeremy Scott has recently made the statement that he is stepping down as creative director of Moschino after ten years at the helm. This has created quite a stir in the fashion world. Some are devastated, vowing the house will never be the same again and some are rejoicing at the thought of the house being relaunched. Scott was seen at the beginning of his stint as a breath of fresh air to the brand, a creative director who was openly trying to poke fun at consumerism in an over-the-top, tailored way. This was perfect for the ever consuming nature of the online world. This manifesto seems semi perfect on paper, but ten years making the same joke can feel repetitive and stale.
Scott was the third ever director of the Moschino brand and brought an immediate camp realism to the runway through McDonalds, Barbie and other unexpected cross-over designs but they always seemed to be tied to real world events. Recently he held an Ode to Inflatables to document inflation in the market. Celebrities naturally gravitated towards his outlandish and attention grabbing clothing for award shows and galas with pop royalty like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus often seen sporting it during their 2010 concerts and press outings. The 2010s did have a sort of plastic pop feel to it due to the resurgence in flashy entertainment natured pop music albums like Born This Way by Lady Gaga, Teenage Dream by Katie Perry and Charli XCX’s Pop 2. The rebirth of fun pop music like this also brought a resurgence in fun loving clothing with bright colours and interesting prints and fabrics. But this pop music was also commenting on the world around them, much like Scott and his 2013 debut at Moschino and it could not have been timed better.
Scott was the third ever director of the Moschino brand and brought an immediate camp realism to the runway through McDonalds, Barbie and other unexpected cross-over designs but they always seemed to be tied to real world events.
All this aside, many critics have commented that Scott had discredited the creative value of the brand and had made it tacky and laughable. I mean, an opinion like this by historic fashion critics can be justified when people like this would have been used to seeing traditional and reviewing traditional garments that could be worn straight off the runway in an elegant manner. I do think that Scott’s vision was one of creativity with a want and need to shake up the industry but even that itself can become bland after a certain time period. The McDonald’s collection was smart and worth a chuckle at the thought of traditional Channel silhouettes adorned with garish red, yellow and golden arch emblems but that seemed to be all the designs were remembered with; a good silent exhale laugh. That being said, arguably nearly one of the best runway shows during the pandemic was his marionettes puppet show. It seemed like an ingenious way to hold a runway show in a world gripped by social distancing and technological connectivity, it brought a sense of wholesome childlike wonder to something that could have easily just been a broadcasted video of models walking down a runway. The marionette show even had famous spectators watching front row, with a puppet Anna Wintor (the editor of American Vogue) and Edward Enninful (the editor of British Vogue and European editorial director of Conde Nast). The puppets were made by none other than Jim Henson's studio who created the Muppets and Sesame Street, which helped to add that sense of familiarity and wonder to the show. The creativity of presenting something so separate and intimate as a puppet show modelled after fashion’s best models and most wanted celebrities is a genius way to do it.
Scott also brought a sense of accessibility to the brand, he seemed to dismantle this idea of luxury brands only being accessible to the elite and wealthy. He created perfume that was sold in high street retailers like Boots and Superdrug and put them in visually pleasing and interesting bottles like teddy bears and Windex cleaning bottles which made them pieces of camp art in themselves. Also, with each collection he created phone cases and ready to wear t shirts and jumpers that normal working people could buy and thus have some part in the fashion world.
The fashion world has changed from gimmicks and flash and has gone back to vintage timeless classics with brands like Chanel and Hermes making a comeback in sales.
The reasons for Scott’s departure are still unsure. It could be due to a creative end and the beginning of a new chapter for Scott, or it could be a change in market and interests in consumers. The fashion world has changed from gimmicks and flash and has gone back to vintage timeless classics, with brands like Chanel and Hermes making a comeback in sales. Scott has apparently made a comment on moving into movies and costume design which I feel would be perfect for him, cinema needs this injection of camp light heartedness with fun comedies and romance like with the impending Barbie movie. Movies like this would be perfect for Scott, with elements of his designs for Moschino always reminding me of Jean Paul Gautiers Fifth Element in its glam yet tacky futuristic realism. Throughout his time at Moschino Scott managed to uphold his own brand and make a name separate from himself so a self titled self ran Jeremy Scott brand could easily be on the cards.
Jeremy Scott has managed to create some fun art whilst also documenting the world around him as art should do, he carried this out for ten years through turbulent times socially, economically and politically and still managed to give his runways a sense of fun and ironic humour. Regardless of his designs being classed as tacky or tired, he suited the brand in the time he had and naturally his time has come to an end and the brand is in need of a reboot from hopefully a new fresh face in fashion. Scott’s talents can be used elsewhere now in new parts of the media and design world.