Put Carmen Miranda through the Milanese fashion blender, and you might end up with a sweet-tasting fashion cocktail that looks something like Moschino for Spring 2005. Take a few puffed sleeves, exaggerated forties prints, and eyelet frilled petticoats, throw them in with vertiginous stripy platforms and lamp-shade hats, and voilà: The mood is set.
The down-Mexico-way theme is, of course, merely this season's excuse for adding decorative froth to an essentially easy to wear, girly collection. (The show also took in the current feeling for handcraft, in the raw-edged appliqué on a flowery chiffon full-skirted coat, and the naïve animal embroideries applied to a flouncy, floor-length peasant skirt.)
But when these runway ideas translate into retail reality, as pieces on a rack, they won't look like literal retro. Apply the Moschino spring spirit to blouses, or the edgings on a black trench, and the results look like sane propositions for a normal wardrobe. Still, even on the runway, all that forties stuff can strain credibility. Who's up for a pair of shorts with an outburst of lacy ruffles at the knee? We'd like to know.