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No Strings Attached SS2021 replaces fashion models with dolls on the runway

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Marionettes dressed in inside-out-style garments replaced human models for Italian brand Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear fashion show, which aimed to convey a world gone “topsy-turvy”.

Titled No Strings Attached, the Moschino SS 2021 fashion line was presented as socially distant as possible by creative director, Jeremy Scott. Puppets designed by Muppets creator, The Jim Henson Company Creature Shop took the place of both the living models and even the audience.

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Scott created doll-sized versions for each of the 40 looks, which largely comprised lavish dresses and gowns featuring materials such as golden jacquard and pastel-hued tulle. Each was designed to reveal the seams and trims that are typically concealed on the inverse of the garment. Scott said he aimed to bring the “inner workings” of the fashion pieces into the spotlight. This, according to Moschino, was intended as a reflection of the unexpected events of 2020, like the coronavirus pandemic. “In 2020, the apparatuses of what we know have been largely exposed. Scott has chosen to reflect this phenomenon and build from it. As the world seems to be splitting along the seams, the bare inner workings of something new will be exposed,” added Scott.

Trouser and dress pockets are plainly displayed on the outside of the garments, while corset structures and zippers are inverted and fabric trims are sewn on backwards. Tulle under-skirts have also been extended beyond hemlines to create unconventional proportions and silhouettes. While these inverse designs serve as a representation of the nonstop global noise, Scott offers some “quietude” with a soft colour palette of pale golds, dusty blues and candy pinks. Also recreating the show’s imagined front-row audience in miniature, including Vogue editors Edward Enninful and Anna Wintour, and French stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele; all members of the puppet audience sat in rows lining the catwalk inside a cream, rococo-style interior with ornate wall panelling and chandeliers.

“In short order, the world has flipped,” said Moschino. “It hasn’t capsized, but we are certainly living in the upside-down, inside-out. The topsy-turvy. Everything is surreal but somehow also too real, altogether, all at once. It’s a recognisable place, but it feels foreign, alien, and admittedly, unnerving. Yet through this paradigm, a revolutionary rulebook will be written. The old manual will burn. It is burning,” the brand said. “We won’t call it a fresh start so much as it is a new start. Inner-workings are being laid bare; how these mechanics exist and evolve will change.”

Scott is not the only fashion designer to take inspiration from the coronavirus pandemic. For its Autumn/Winter 2020 collection, Viktor & Rolf created three mini-wardrobes that represent a different Covid-19-related mindset. These included a sombre mood, conflicted emotions and love, and featured silky nightgowns emblazoned with emojis and “unapproachable” coats covered in spikes and tubes.

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