Moschino Staged A Couture Puppet Show With Marionette Dolls As Models. A Socially Distant Fashion Show? Genius!
Fashion shows were likely to hit a pause button and shelved indefinitely due to the restrictions pertaining to traveling and social distancing in the wake of the corona outbreak. However, the designers came up with creative alternatives like switching physical runways with virtual ones, presenting fashion films on the social media and going live with a handful of models strutting down the runway to ensure social distancing is maintained. Moschino took the concept of ditching traditional fashion schedules up a notch and pulled off a fashion show completely devoid of humans.
It is clear by now that the pandemic isn’t deterring the designers from showcasing their collection, because the show must go on. The fashion show, in this case. To keep the risk of corona infection at bay, Jeremy Scott of Moschino opted for a puppet show where marionette dolls glided by the catwalk dressed in the brand’s summer spring collection. A spectacle we’ve never seen before in the fashion space.
He collaborated with the Muppets fame Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to create 40 30-inch marionettes for the salon-style puppet show. The brand issued a statement saying “a Moschino wink-and-nod to the fact that in order to begin anew, you have to start small.” Have to admit, this was not the kind of downsizing we were expecting but is sure a fresh perspective to the fashion shows in the new normal.
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The show was presented as a short fashion film format at the Milan Fashion Week. The model dolls were not the only highlight of the show. It was the guests. No not the human kind, the puppets. The show was attended by the puppet dolls of who’s who of the fashion world, like Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, New York Times critic Vanessa Friedman and Anna Dello Russo in the front row seat occasionally appearing to be exchanging talks and clicking pictures with their phones. In the end, the Jeremey Scott doll stops the show wearing a Moschino shirt and crown. The outfits of these 12 ‘attendee’ dolls and the one of Jeremy himself was outfitted by the designer only.
The collection featured 40 doll-size looks including tops and dresses with corseted details, ballet-inspired dresses, trench dresses and tailored jackets and black skirt suits that came with a train. Each outfit was scaled down to the proportion to fit the dimensions of the dolls. The puppet dolls also carried the miniature version of accessories like shoes, belts and bags from the brand as they walked on the ramp, strings attached. Ironically, the fashion film was titled ‘No String Attached’.
The Moschino show is always par excellence when it comes to pivoting creativity on the catwalk. This puppet show is just another example of the creative genius of the designer. In an interview with Variety, Scott said, “I tried to look at all of this as opportunities, not obstacles. My mantra has been from the very beginning, ‘My body may be in quarantine, but my mind isn’t.’ I’m a creative person who is extremely used to lots of people, travel, all these different things going on and to have everything just stop, I had to think about how to create and deliver the emotion of my work.”
Although the models were race inclusive, we would have loved to see some size inclusive dolls too. Milan Fashion Week has been encouraging the representation of size inclusivity on the ramp and designer collection this year with luxury brands like Fendi and Versace casting plus size models. It was something that we missed in the Moschino show, but I’d say this, these puppet dolls could give any supermodel a run for their money. Plus, this show’s seriously impressive concept gives us a glimpse on how creativity can branch out from tough times. Could you imagine a puppet fashion show in the pre-Covid era? Same!
The shift in the fashion show format was inevitable in the pandemic and we did expect some changes in the shows like digital concept coming to play, live shows, line-up with less model and all, but never would have guessed something so whimsical and playful for a fashion show. It will be long before everything goes back to normal and the fashion shows are held in actual physical space with the traditional runway and with media peeps and guests crammed under one roof. Till then we’ll have to make do with the virtual shows. However, if they are as imaginative and interesting as the Moschino one, I don’t mind attending it on the screen, ever.