Moschino 2011

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You don’t go to Moschino for understated. Red and blue polka dots, stripes, ten-gallon hats, turban scarves, fleur-de-lis doorknocker earrings, gold mirrored shades—it was all happening, often in a single outfit.

The show had less over-the-top moments, but the sharp tailoring wasn’t without quirky, tongue-in-cheek details of its own. A navy double-breasted jacket came edged in gold fringe, an ivory blazer featured a felt boat instead of a pocket square, and in place of frogging closures, a cropped linen style was decorated with gold scissors.

And what’s a Moschino show without piles and piles of faux pearls? Irreverence has been the name of the game here since Franco Moschino founded the company nearly 30 years ago. But when practiced this exuberantly, the house signature can end up looking camp. If it’s not believable on the runway, what about in real life?

There were sunny flounced dresses of the type that Lucy Ricardo, of I Love Lucy fame, would have packed for a tropical vacation. There were belled skirts pumped up with crinoline or little bustles underneath. But there were also less giddy options done in a more subdued style, like the sort of Moschino dresses worn lately by Michelle Obama, who includes the label on her roster of favorites.

The collection offers many items that will deliver an energetic jolt to spring’s wardrobe, without going overboard. If it’s not believable on the runway, what about in real life?

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