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Moschino Puts SpongeBob, McDonalds on the Runway: Genius or Absurd?

Tyler and Lauren face off on Moschino's polarizing collection.

On Thursday evening in Milan, American designer Jeremy Scott showed his first full collection for Italian house Moschino -- and what a divisive one it was. The drama, in fact, started before the (much delayed) show even began: Singer Katy Perry, who arrived 55 minutes late after the official start time, was booed by the audience as she made her entrance.

And then there were the looks. Scott borrowed heavily from American mass market culture, sending down dresses and robe coats in McDonald's tangy red and yellow colors, upon which were printed double gold arches and the label "Moschino." A Chanel-style jacket was made vulgar with a cow print dress and a chain bag was fashioned in the shape of a styrofoam-like drink cup, again inscribed with double golden arches and the Italian label's logo. Then there were duffle bags, boots, sweaters, pants and coats printed with the face of SpongeBob SquarePants; a Budweiser cape worn with fluffy red heels; gowns made of giant candy wrappers; and finally, a "wedding dress" upon which a nutrition label was largely printed. At the end, Scott appeared on the runway in a large white T-shirt that read, "I don't speak Italian but I do speak Moschino."

Was it genius? Absurd? Both? Tyler and Lauren, who watched from home (a freelancer covered the show for Fashionista -- her review will be up later), hugely disagreed.

Tyler: I'm all about quirk or a sense of humor in fashion -- for example, I did really love the furry Karl doll at Fendi. This was just on a whole different level. I wouldn't have minded the initial motifs, which included looks punctuated with a soda-cup purse or a Happy Meal bag served on a tray, but by the end all that logomania was too much. I realize that Jeremy Scott and Moschino share the M.O. of eccentricity, and I do also understand that the whole reason Scott was brought in was to revive the brand, but for me it felt like that Haute Mess Vogue Italia editorial. Many of the elements of the show -- the SpongeBob section especially -- make me think of trends that have been happening in streetwear for a while, only the runway has removed all social context from them. I guess I'm just not that into tacky for tacky's sake, and the idea that someone will drop hundreds of dollars on some of that stuff actually offends me.

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Lauren: I think the collection is very clever, one that will put Moschino -- a brand that has been sleepy for years -- back on the map. By producing a collection so polarizing, and manipulating icons of mass culture, Scott ensured that this collection will be talked about not only in industry circles but also by mainstream media (and, by extension, mainstream consumers). The accessories especially will make for great street style and editorial bait, and while they may or may not be snapped up by consumers this season, it will ultimately sell more accessories for Moschino down the line.