fashion dictionary: MOSCHINO
- An Italian luxury fashion house known for its eccentric designs, criticisms of the fashion industry, parodies of other fashion houses, and social awareness campaigns.
- A non-traditionalist who respects tradition. (See: Franco Moschino)
- One of the greatest humans to ever grace the planet Earth.* (See: Franco Moschino)
*Okay, so the third definition is a bit biased based on our bloggers' personal beliefs, but stay tuned and soon you too will be all, "Where would my 'IN FRANCO WE TRUST' tattoo look best...?"
It's nearly impossible to put into words how great Franco Moschino was, and even more challenging to articulate how this brand we assumed was kitschy and beneath us totally won our hearts in just a few swift movements. Although neither of us would consider ourselves avid Valentiners, when we think about celebrating the holiday dedicated to L-O-V-E we think about Franco, a designer who overflowed with so much love, hearts and happy faces spilled out of him and onto everything he touched--no one stands for peace, love & happiness more forcefully and more wholly than Franco Moschino!
Fun Fact: We designed the favicon for Margot + Maude's website as a dedication to Moschino--a yin and yang (representing the duality of Margot + Maude) with a heart and a peace sign (for Franco!) in place of the dots!
Starting out as a painter, Franco was hired as a fashion illustrator for Gianni Versace, thus taking his first steps into the fashion kingdom that he ultimately fell in love with: "I married fashion--and it has been a good wife." Starting his own label in 1983, his clever satirization of the fashion system created some of the most unaffected and brutally honest clothing ever made, garments seemingly conscious of their absurdity but not caring what you thought of them because, hey, they were having fun! A perfectly tailored cashmere blazer with "EXPENSIVE JACKET" embroidered in gold across the back, a feminine black coat trimmed with teddy bears rather than fur, a Chanel-inspired suit with "WAIST OF MONEY" delicately stitched around the middle and accessorized with gold peace sign earrings as if to say, "We mock in peace."
"You make fun if you know what serious is." --Franco Moschino
Franco understood humour and it's importance in all facets of life--fashion was lacking it so he dutifully filled the void. He won our hearts with his honesty, got our attention with all the fun he was having, and once he knew we were watching, he redirected our our gaze to the bigger issues which he felt we more deserving of our time and money. His advertising rarely featured his clothing but often promoted crucial global issues like the environment, racism, and AIDS awareness. Even with his outstanding success he chose to live modestly and divide his earnings among pediatric AIDS hospice and other charities. Franco! You perfect gem of a human! When he eventually succumbed to AIDS in 1994, his assistant and long-time friend, Rossella Jardini, took charge of the brand as creative director, maintaining the voice of Moschino with it's social awareness, "send-ups" to other designers, and it's smothering of hearts & smiley faces on it's devoted fans (the way a grandmother would smother you with kisses).
Are you in love with Moschino yet??
Below is a farewell written to Moschino by Julia Szabo for Harper's Bazaar shortly after Franco's death, along with some of Moschino's notoriously rebellious advertisements (most of which are photographs of magazine pages taken by us because it is infuriatingly difficult to find images and text from Franco's era!):