A front row filled with stuffed animals, an invitation made from a napkin tied around a set of silverware, and an open delivery truck with runway models flowing out of the back are just a few examples of how the Moschino brand continues to harness humor in the name of fashion.
For the past 25 years, the company has prospered with a foundation of irreverence, fun and a surrealist frivolity that runs counter to the way slick, big-business fashion functions today. And its creative director, Rossella Jardini, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The glossy, glamorous and cool world of fashion have never particularly fascinated me: I adore fashion and many of its representatives not for those aspects but for the creativity, the research and the effort that remains behind every collection,” said the designer.
Jardini – who started working alongside the company’s founder, Franco Moschino, in 1981 and took over designing the brand after his death in 1994 – has long kept a low profile, letting the sunny brand image and the colorful clothing speak for themselves. But in the new fashion world order, where designers are almost as famous as the brands they work for, Jardini has started to step into the spotlight in hopes of giving a face to a brand.
A slim woman who often dresses in large sweaters and easy trousers worn with big jewelry and thick dark-framed glasses, she offered frank responses to questions about her approach.
“I don’t design the collection in my head,” she said in a recent interview, speaking in a mix of Italian, French and broken English. “I have a team that helps with that. For me it is all about the choice of fabrics and the mixing of textiles. That is always my starting point when I put together a collection.”