Moschino’s Jeremy Scott is adept at turning the banal into objects of desire – last season it was McDonalds; for spring, Barbie had the treatment.
This isn’t the first time Scott has found creative spark in Mattel’s pneumatic bestseller – he created a literal birthday suit for her 50th in 2008. This time though she was the basis for a whole collection, from streetwear via sports and swim, to a phase of eveningwear taken straight from the iconic pink boxes: a puffball skirt cocktail gown, a shimmering white tuxedo and a ruched, gold strapless number, all immediately recognisable; all headed most probably to the likes of Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
The audience was treated to Barbie in all her incarnations, from city chic to poolside, even roller-skating down the catwalk.
There is a method in Scott’s studied madness that goes far beyond the sensationalism these riotous shows generate. He has breathed life back into this brand with street style-friendly, social media-savvy statement pieces, from entry level prices and up. This season’s McDonalds phone holder is a pink handheld mirror, just right for perfecting your selfie pout. They’ll be everywhere in Milan tomorrow. There’s no doubt, seeing this, that Scott aims his designs straight and true at a certain demographic. And that they love him for it.
It’s the equivalent of the great couturiers franchising fragrance and cosmetics back in the early twentieth century. Hook customers with a small but aspirationally priced product in the hope they’ll become devotees of the brand and, at the very least, increase visibility of your logo and name.
It has worked so far – Moschino’s hit rate is way over what it was before Scott joined the label. And if the selfie generation buy these, there’s a chance they’ll ask for any of the coat hanger, ghetto blaster or swimming pool lilo-shaped handbags on show tonight for their birthday.
So if you can ignore the carbon footprint of all these plastic phone cases jettisoned every season in favour of the new version - not to mention the knock-offs they’ll inspire - then it’s safe to call this collection a resounding success.