At Moschino, Jeremy Scott Changed the Meaning of Camp
Every single one of designer Jeremy Scott's Instagram captions is in ALL CAPS. If anyone else did this, it would read like they were screaming through the screen, but with Scott, the capitalization feels more like joyful proclamations: “C’OM ON PARIS LETS GO PARTY !!! @parishilton IN MY PINK INFLATABLE @moschino SUIT,” or, “CINDY FUCK-N CRAWFORD Y’ALL.”
His most recent post was more serious: a photo of himself alongside model Gigi Hadid wearing the final wedding look from his 2019 spring collection, with a caption announcing his departure from Moschino after a decade at the helm of the brand. Still, the tone was strikingly joyful. “AFTER 10 YEARS I AM ANNOUNCING TODAY THAT I WILL BE LEAVING MOSCHINO,” Scott writes. “IVE HAD A BLAST CREATING DESIGNS THAT WILL LIVE ON FOREVER. I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT IVE RECEIVED OVER THIS PAST DECADE. AS I CLOSE THIS CHAPTER I AM FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT & ANTICIPATION AND CANT WAIT TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL WHAT I HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU NEXT !”
In a press release following the announcement, Massimo Ferretti, chairman of Aeffe S.p.A, which owns Moschino, wrote, in a more subdued lowercase, “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with the creative force that is Jeremy Scott. I would like to thank him for his 10 years of commitment to Franco Moschino’s legacy house and for ushering in a distinct and joyful vision that will forever be a part of Moschino history.”
Under Scott, Moschino has become synonymous with camp. Actually, when the Met Gala theme in 2019 was "Camp: Notes on Fashion" and fashion observers were busy Googling the phrase "camp style," their searches were answered with a photo of Scott backstage at his 2017 Moschino spring show, standing between a model covered in florals and another wearing a tutu and a tiny crown. As expected, plenty of celebrities wore the brand to the gala that year—perhaps none as famously as Katy Perry, who first appeared in a Moschino chandelier gown before changing into a Moschino hamburger costume for the after-party. (Other famous fans of the brand—and friends of the designer—include Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and the Hadid sisters.)
It's hard to imagine Moschino without Jeremy Scott, which is why so many fans online right now are lamenting his departure as the end of an era. Since taking over in October 2013, Scott carried on Franco Moschino's legacy of satirizing the fashion industry with witty. pop-art-inspired collections that remarked on consumerism and capitalism. Moschino, who always said he considered himself a “commentator” more than a designer, denounced the fashion excess of the '80s with his take on Chanel suits with pinwheels for buttons and wide-brim hats made of airplanes. When he designed a t-shirt with a television tuned to “Channel No. 5,” he was actually sued by the house because of its reference to Chanel No. 5 perfume.
Years later, Scott would make his own spoof on Chanel for his first collection for Moschino in 2014: Red and yellow skirt suits inspired by Ronald McDonald with flap bags reimagining the brand's iconic heart design as McDonald's golden arches. The fashion tide had shifted by then, with reviewers calling the collection “ingenious.” Karl Lagerfeld was a known fan, even saying in interviews that Scott might be the only designer who could take over Chanel after him.
Instead, Scott went on to collaborate with Barbie, My Little Pony, and Spongebob. Whereas plenty of brands have turned to gimmicks in recent years to go viral, his love of absurdity felt encoded into this aesthetic—and the brand's DNA. The capacity to make a Hersey's chocolate wrapper dress that has people thinking, “Yeah, that makes sense” feels singular to Scott. No one does cheap and chic like him.
Scott put his eponymous brand on hold in 2019, and fans are now wondering if he might use this time to revive it. His Instagram caption makes it sound like he has another project lined up, but still, it feels inconceivable to envision Scott at another brand or someone else at Moschino. For so many, Jeremy Scott IS Moschino.
“If you can not be elegant,” Moschino once said, “be at least extravagant.” If there's anything we know for certain, it is that Scott will continue that legacy no matter what he does next. And we can only hope another king of kitsch takes over his reign.
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