Versailles meets Harajuku on the Moschino Fall/Winter 2020-21 runway show when Jeremy Scott reimagined the one-time Queen of France Marie Antoinette being cosplayed today.
Scott calls here “Anime Antoinette,” and to create her, the Moschino Creative Director mixed the gilded extravagance of 18th century Versailles and the candy-bright colors of the 21st century Harajuku, Tokyo. It’s all about fantasy, fun and a little bit of irony.
With all the models wearing the famous (or should it be infamous) pouf, the piled-high hairstyle created by then-hairstylist Léonard Autie for Marie Antoinette for the coronation of her husband, Louis XVI in 1774, the declaration was clear… “this, Madame, is Versailles.”
But… wait! The palette is packed with frosting-pastels and hyper-saturation. Shapes are extra-exaggerated. The surreal gets sugar-coated. The atmosphere became that of cosplay, with the models as cosplayers from Tokyo who time travelled to 18th century France.
Anime Antoinette was holding court in Versailles. With decadence openly displayed, there is a subtle political statement because we know what happened to the French royal family. This is where Scott’s paradox surfaces; the collection is built on hedonism, but it’s the kind of fun that comes with fangs.
Farthingale and pannier-waist dresses are morphed into new silhouettes with hybridized hoodies or moto-jackets. Denim is accented with gold threading; that same metallic embroidery appears as cherubs on skirt hems or leather lapels.
Frilled hems add a lighthearted kick, while rainbow jewel-toned velvets recall a more recent sort of nostalgia (the 1760’s meeting, the 1960’s). Toile de Jouy motifs are reimagined with anime characters in situ.
And how can we talk about Marie Antoinette without mentioning her famous unquote “let them eat cake.” (It’s historically proven that she never said it). This was incorporated in the show with Scott’s finale evening gowns – designed to mimic tiered cakes – act as a tongue-in-cheek take on Marie Antoinette’s famous alleged quote.
Photos courtesy of Moschino