Sound the alarm: Katy Perry has been ham-burgled.
Her massive Moschino patty was last seen at the 2019 Met Gala—but it just resurfaced on fashion legend Karen Elson, still boasting a smear of Céline Dion’s makeup, which rubbed off during a red carpet *kiss-kiss.*
“I should probably tell Katy we’re using her burger, huh?” laughs designer Jeremy Scott from Los Angeles. “I’ve been keeping it in storage, but when it came time to film the diner scene for this project, I thought, ‘Well, we have to have it.’ So I pulled it out.”
“This project” he’s referring to is Moschino’s new resort collection, which debuts today with a mini-musical called Lighting Strikes that’s equal parts Singing in the Rain and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Elson twirls through the first part of the film as a diner waitress, sliding fries to models like Dilone and Stella Maxwell until—Whiz! Bang!—one punch of the jukebox and she’s whirling through a fantasy sequence of ice cream couture gowns, pinball flash accessories, and Dick Tracy fedora fashion that would be funny if it weren’t so damn flawless. (Thank you, Moschino atelier maestros.)
“Even when I’m doing a runway, I always think about my shows as films,” says Scott. “The woman is a character, and where would that character go? What would she do and what would she never do? And maybe there’s no dialogue,” he shrugs. “But fashion is a language, and it speaks to so many people!”
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Elson, of course, is fluent in that language. Scott insisted she was “the only one” who could pull off the intersection between the runway and retro Mitzi Gaynor vibes. “We were very, very close in the late ‘90s,” says Scott. “Then on the set of [Moschino’s last fashion film] Jungle Red, I started playing out this idea in my head—that trope of the bored diner waitress, that fabulous New York City moment like in In the Heights or West Side Story when everyone is just dancing, dancing, dancing… I didn’t think anyone else was more perfect than her. So I texted her and I held my breath and freaked out. And then I freaked out again when she said yes!… She was total perfection—she even came to set suggesting poses she used to do for Avedon. Honestly, with her performance, I couldn’t have been more proud.”
Scott paired Elson with veteran choreographer Denna Thomsen, who worked on everything from Birds of Prey to Booksmart and Euphoria, and turned the infamous hamburger suit into a tap-dancing costume. He also upped the color ante and buoyant sex appeal of the collection, knowing full well that neutrals and puffy soft shapes were flooding other fashion brand feeds. “The Moschino woman never stopped dressing up,” Scott says. “Because it feels so much more fun to be dressed, to be whimsical with bright clothes and a bit of mischief. We want to be playful. We want to be having fun together right now, and we want to be having so much fun and looking fantastic doing it. It’s just like, why not?” He laughs, throwing his arms up. “Life’s too short to wear boring clothes.”
Life is also too short to not make big moves, which is why Scott hints that though he’ll be returning to an IRL catwalk this September (In New York!), he isn’t yet through with his cinematic visions. “I’m really looking forward to having runway shows again,” Scott says. “But I don’t want to abandon or let go of this new love. I’m still gonna make films, okay? So let’s see where that goes.”
As for Ms. Perry’s hamburger, it goes back to the vault, at least until another style scheme calls “lights, camera, fashion.”
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