The Italian label Moschino has continued to deal in the wit and irreverence – as well as the heartfelt anti-establishment fervour – that was trademark of the company’s founder, Franco Moschino (1950-1994). And his spirit certainly lives on in this lusciously crafted bag issued two years after his premature death.
During the 1980s, Moschino’s designs were a breath of fresh air in the stifling atmosphere of the newly globalized fashion industry. His innovations lay, however, not so much in the design but in his uncanny ability to simultaneously create luxury and send it up. Every fashionista would have killed to get hold of a shirt printed with the words ‘A shirt only for fashion victims’. But there was more to all this than mere ironic whimsy – there was genuine passion in the famous 1980s magazine advertisement that harangued readers to ‘Stop the Fashion System’.
The Fudge the Fashionistas handbag continues this tricky tightrope walk between the subversion and the perpetuation of consumerism. The imagery of the bag is an allusion to the base gluttony of the fashionistas, but the sheer yumminess of the polished calfskin – representing the glossy darkness of the fudge sauce as it oozes down the vanilla cake crumb – threatens to open up an unnverving split in the modern psyche, torn between our idealist and consumerist selves.
But that, Franco Moschino, would have said, is the point.