Breathe out: H&M’s lat­est de­signer col­lab­o­ra­tion is as buzz-wor­thy as ever, with Jeremy Scott, the pop-ob­sessed, ef­fer­ves­cent cre­ative di­rec­tor of Moschino, bring­ing the verve. By Alice Bir­rell.


H&M’s lat­est de­signer col­lab­o­ra­tion is as buzz-wor­thy as ever, with Moschino’s Jeremy Scott bring­ing the verve.

You have to won­der about Jeremy Scott. If he wasn’t born into this epoch, his ta­lent might have been com­pletely wasted. A hip-hop Mickey Mouse, alien Jackie O, hug­gable teddy bear sneak­ers, light­ning bolts crack­ing their way across a dress are all in his daily ver­nac­u­lar – just think of the wasted In­sta­gram trac­tion if he was born much ear­lier. It’s some­thing that hasn’t es­caped high-street gi­ant H&M, peg­ging the canny Moschino cre­ative di­rec­tor and his way with high-vis iconog­ra­phy as the next in its line-up of de­signer col­lab­o­ra­tions.

“Er­dem was all about beauty and ro­mance, which was to­tally right for the time. Now it’s about bold­ness and en­ergy, and Moschino is the per­fect brand for it,” says H&M cre­ative ad­vi­sor Ann-Sofie Jo­hans­son, re­fer­ring to last year’s sell- out of­fer­ing from Er­dem Mo­rali­oglu. True to word, an acid marigold mini-skirt, gold leather pants, chunky gold ac­ces­sories and hyper-cropped denim jack­ets em­bla­zoned with ‘Moschino’ in cap­i­tal letters, could be de­scribed as noth­ing but.

And if it all sounds like a lot, that’s for­ever been Scott’s an­gle. Since leav­ing the Amer­i­can Mid­west for Paris be­fore LA, he was seem­ingly on a col­li­sion course with Moschino from the start. “I’ve al­ways known I was an out­sider in fash­ion, the same as Franco Moschino,” he says of the la­bel’s name­sake, who held a mir­ror up to the self-ag­gran­dis­ing side of the in­dus­try. Us­ing sur­re­al­ist vi­su­als – play­ing cards, ques­tion marks, stacks of house bricks – and quo­tid­ian mo­tifs, the orig­i­nal Moschino rev­elled in pok­ing fun at the tropes of trends and fash­ion cy­cles.

Scott has sim­i­larly adopted an out­sider’s stance, from his solo work un­der his own name to his five years at Moschino. “I don’t spend my time wor­ry­ing about the fash­ion in­dus­try,” he ex­plains, an at­ti­tude that has spawned cre­ations such as life-size pa­per-doll gowns or bags made to look like a packet of Marl­boro reds printed with ‘fash­ion kills’, both in­tended to nee­dle the darker sides of the in­dus­try. Pop cul­ture iconog­ra­phy has be­come defin­ing – Bar­bie, choco­late bars, My Lit­tle Pony and those Jac­que­line Onas­sis clones from au­tumn/win­ter ’18/’19 made to look like aliens (Scott per­haps ask­ing: was she?) – and are his way to ei­ther mock or laud them all. The fun is in never quite know­ing which.

In this col­lab­o­ra­tion, named Moschino [tv] H&M, he’s seem­ingly lean­ing to­ward the lat­ter. Mickey Mouse T-shirts, over­sized Amer­i­can base­ball jer­seys, MTV-lo­goed sweat­pants and trompe l’oeil chains em­broi­dered onto black jersey hood­ies make up the main visual lan­guage


of the men’s and women’s cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories. “Mickey Mouse is ev­ery­thing to me. I love work­ing with iconog­ra­phy in my col­lec­tions,” says Scott, who has al­ways been into car­toons – note the gob­stop­per-sized but­tons on bub­ble jack­ets – and things that are in­stantly recog­nis­able for their ac­ces­si­bil­ity. “It’s the same with a stop sign or Mickey Mouse. It goes be­yond lan­guage … there’s an in­stant un­der­stand­ing of what I’m try­ing to say,” he ex­plains. “When you see this hip-hop Mickey Mouse, you know ex­actly what it’s say­ing.”

A case of ‘if-you-know-then-you-know’, it won’t be a sur­prise that his cre­ations ap­peal to a younger au­di­ence. He counts Mi­ley Cyrus, Ri­hanna and Katy Perry among his celebrity clien­tele. His outré de­signs in Cray­ola brights seem made for stage and red car­pet and are noted some­times by jour­nal­ists more for their ob­vi­ous flair than for their mes­sage, not that Scott minds. “What mat­ters to me are the fans. The fans are the rea­son I do what I do.”

While he might have ques­tioned the pace of fast fash­ion in the past, the demo­cratic na­ture of ac­ces­si­ble lux­ury is ap­peal­ing to him here. “Jeremy calls him­self the peo­ple’s de­signer, so for him it’s a dream come true to have his col­lec­tion be avail­able to so many peo­ple,” says Jo­hans­son.

And be­fore any­one queues up for a sen­si­ble jacket come the Novem­ber 8 launch, un­der­stand the Moschino wink. “There are three dif­fer­ent jack­ets that I love so much,” Scott says of the col­lec­tion. “Es­pe­cially the cropped padded jacket. It’s so ridicu­lous be­cause it’s a padded jacket but it’s cropped so high, it’s not re­ally keep­ing you warm. And yet it looks so good! I love that kind of thing, where hu­mour acts as a punc­tu­a­tion point.”

Moschino [tv] H&M sweater, $169, and ear­rings, $60.

Moschino [tv] H&M denim jacket, $249, and denim skirt, $100. Moschino [tv] H&M puf­fer jacket, $249, puf­fer skirt, $100, and ear­rings, $60.

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