Moschino and Iconography: How Original Is It?


When we think Moschino, the first thing that comes to mind is bold, bright and colourful. Since becoming creative director at the label in 2013, Jeremy Scott has infused his own unique take on fashion design into the traditionally eccentric high fashion label – making the combination to be what some believe are the perfect fit.

However, Scott’s appropriation of common trademarks and icons onto Moschino clothing has been both cause for controversy and praise. Not surprisingly, Scott has had to deal with his fair share of alleged lawsuits and subsequent negotiations. With some of the most recognisable trademarks in the world such as McDonald’s fry-shaped ‘M’ or Barbie’s bright pink lettering, it’s a wonder how he gets away with it.

Moschino Autumn/Winter 2014

Moschino Autumn/Winter 2014

Moschino Spring/Summer 2015

Moschino Spring/Summer 2015

The latest addition to that list is street artist ‘Rime’, who has allegedly filed for legal action against both Moschino and Scott for trademark infringement.  Rime has made claims that his graffiti art was imposed onto Moschino’s AW15 collection.

Rime's Street Art 'Vandal Eyes'

Rime’s Street Art ‘Vandal Eyes’

To add insult to injury, the ramifications for Rime go beyond Scott having potentially stolen his intellectual property – the dress featuring the graffiti art, worn by Katy Perry to this year’s Met Gala Ball, was considered as being part of the ‘worst outfit’ categories by many publications.

Katy Perry and Jeremy Scott, Met Gala 2015

Katy Perry and Jeremy Scott, Met Gala 2015

However, to play devil’s advocate, if the nature of fashion is such that it is an art-form, influenced by its societal context or decades gone past, then how can we reasonably expect true originality each season? As trends come and go, it becomes more and more evident that designers recall on those former decades, artists and muses for that inspiration to give it new relevance. After all, it is not as though Scott isn’t without a crowd of adoring fans, including the likes of celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Rita Ora.

So, whilst it appears that Scott may be playing with fire when it comes to borderline trademark infringement, we have to remember that being original in a non-original way is what fashion is all about: revamping and re-realising.

Plus, at least he’ll keep us guessing with what icon is to come next, if indeed that is what he has in store for Moschino. Let’s just hope it’s all legal.

(Image credit: Google Images)

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