Schoolgirlish jokes are to Moschino what knits are to Missoni or psychedelic prints to Pucci: the core of its brand identity. This season the goofing around started with a rusty brown coat masquerading as a doorcomplete with panels, brass knocker, and house numberworn open over a bikini, with fluorescent over-the-knee stockings and satin wedges. From there the collection played a kind of sophomoric peekaboo with surrealism, referencing Dali (lip prints on silk dresses), Elsa Schiaparelli, and Christian Berard (pink georgette scarf-printed gowns).
For those who still didn’t get it, cotton underwear graffiti’d with slogans like "too haute to handle" (bada-boom) signaled to the general theme of messing about with the icons of Parisian couture. Chanel-inspired jackets had fringes clanking with plastic beads in hard-candy colors; fiftiesstyle strapless tulle evening gowns were encrusted with safety pins or enamel badges to mimic embroidery. Some of the gags were misjudged, like a reprise of punk (not that old chestnut again!) and the use of far too much black to be funny. But there were plenty of pieces that toyed with summer’s trends in a way that won’t make Moschino shoppers feel they’re buying into a complete joke.