Early Thursday evening, Moschino presented its 40th anniversary collection. Currently leader-less, the house took the initiative to employ four notable stylists (Carlynne Cerf de Dudzeele, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Lucia Liu and Katie Grand) to create their own homages to its enigmatic founder, Franco Moschino (who died aged 44, in 1994, from AIDs-related illness). These were unveiled in four sections, each referencing a different creative thread from 1983 to 1993.
The results were somewhat mixed, Karefa-Johnson’s interpretation perhaps felt the most joyous with its mix of bold colourful prints, gold crochet and statement-making mini leather jackets. A Beyoncé soundtrack didn’t hurt either.
Grand employed the skills of choreographer Wayne Mcgregor to create a riotous dance routine, the clothes modelled by professional dancers. Emblazoned on the jersey pieces was the phrase “Loud Luxury”. As a reaction to the somewhat benign vogue for camel cashmere good taste and endless Succession references, this slogan felt reactionary.
It felt pertinent later, too, when Peter Hawking unveiled his debut collection as creative director of Tom Ford. Ford sold his company to Estée Lauder last year for $2.8 billion, Hawking, his Kent-born, right-hand man was anointed as his successor.
Taking over the perfectly polished shoes of an eponymous founder with the levels of fame, and signature aesthetic (both personal and professional) Ford has, cannot be easy. Though having worked with Ford for 25 years, Hawking is well placed to meet the challenge.
The collection was a tight edit of Ford’s signature drenching of glamour. There were flashes of Gucci-era Ford, in velvet tailoring and silk blouses worn open to the navel; then backless jersey dresses with gold hard wear belts slung over the hips. Moc croc featured throughout in a black trench coat opening look, chocolate brown pencil skirt, in hotpants and coordinating jackets. Shoes were high, spindly and strappy. A cool black feathered mini dress looks destined for the red carpet, a gold tweed micro-shorts suit - for I’m not sure where.
Arguably it felt a little reductive at times, it channelled the pure essence of the Ford catalogue, and is destined to be described endlessly as high-octane dressing.
Backstage after the show, he referenced the “strong women” whom Ford had surrounded himself with in the 90s - including ex Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, and Hawking’s wife, Whitney, who ran Ford’s PR operation. “She gives me constant feedback” he offered. He cited American model Donyale Luna, who was a muse for Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon in the 60s and 70s.
But, fashion hasn’t been this glamorous for a while. Not this unapologetically toned, lithe bodies, glossy and groomed, adrenalin-fuelled seduction. It felt a little like it belonged to a different era, but one that is currently endlessly mined for references. There is no great ideology to these clothes, beyond luxury materials, exquisite cut and getting dressed up to get undressed. But maybe that’s the new loud luxury. Forget having a philosophy, just look fabulous.