When you think of over the top fashion, nothing quite compares to the irreplaceable, Franco Moschino.
Franco Moschino didn’t consider himself a fashion designer, but a painter or a decorator. Born in 1950 in Lombardy outside of Milan, Franco’s father died at the age of four and the young boy poured himself into the arts. He attended Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan in 1967. To pay for his life as an artist, Moschino freelanced doing fashion illustration for brands and by 1971 he had caught the eye of Gianni Versace. Franco worked with Gianni until 1977 before becoming the head designer at Cadette for 5 years.
“Funny clothes have to be extremely well made because that is where you find the chic. It’s easy to be funny with a T-shirt, but it’s more clever with a mink coat. After all, if caviar was cheaper it would taste much less interesting.”
In 1983, Franco Moschino opened his own company, Moonshadow, and launched his line Moschino Couture! that same year. He started with casualwear and denim, but quickly expanded to lingerie, accessories and evening wear. By 1986, he had broken into menswear and released his first women’s fragrance a year later. Cheap and Chic, a lower priced line with the same eye for design, was launched in 1988. These launches into fragrance and a more entry level line paint Franco quite the innovator, possibly starting the trend of many fashion houses to come.
“My approach is a contradiction, I know, but why not? Why should I have to embrace the fashion business just because I work in it? Why should I? It’s an absurd thing to many people but completely logical to me.”
Moschino had a knack for Surrealism and his social commentary was inescapable and always in your face. The italian house defined the ‘more-is-more’ culture and often poked fun at the same women rushing out to buy his clothing. He made an extra long button-up shirt for men in white that’s elongated arms tied in the back like a straitjacket, offering the line “For Fashion Victims Only” on the back. He knocked off the Chanel boucle suit and replaced the legendary gold chain with the words “this is a waist of money” embroidered in it’s place. He sent cashmere jackets out with “Expensive Jacket” on the back and matador jackets with “Bull Chic” sewn in. He is known for condescending the fashion community in a playful way that the community triumphs. Franco did his own thing and the fashion world excepted them. Just a year after a 10 year retrospective put on by Franco, the designer died from an abnormal tumor.
Starting with his death in 1994, his first assistant and long time collaborator, Rossella Jardini designed for the brand up until Jeremy Scott was hired just two seasons ago. The brand is still known for it’s kitshy appliques, funky logos and use of pop culture references to drive it’a brand. Jeremy showed a collection full of Barbie-inspired wear for Spring 15 that is certain to be a hit- after all, Moschino has taken quite the place in this street style obsessed generation.