JUST SAY MOSCHI-NO
Does the brand’s latest ‘capsule’ collection glamorize drug abuse?
“It’s literally a collection of capsules. I always say, fashion is the only drug I do. It keeps me going.” – Jeremy Scott
A petition has been launched to ban Moschino’s SS17 collection. The ‘capsule’ collection, a name derived from its prescription drug themed inspiration, has been severely criticized for its glamorization of drug abuse. The collection features accessories that have been designed to look like bottles of prescription pills as well as various items of clothing that feature a pill motif. The critics of the line have deemed it insensitive to those who are reliant on prescription drugs or who are battling addiction. Major USA retailer Nordstrom became the first to pull the collection from its shelves following the widespread uproar at the controversial message of this collection.
(Photo Credit: www.yahoo.co.uk)
The collection’s designer Jeremy Scott has had a history of creating provocative designs; his AW14 collection was inspired by McDonalds and in February he released cigarette packet style iPhone cases. Scott is frequently met with condemnation for the subject matter of his designs, with many people deeming that turning drugs and cigarettes into high fashion is glamorization the activities, thus making it more appealing.
Does the collection actually seek to glamorize and promote drug use? I think it is highly unlikely that Scott has sought to create a collection purposed at the promotion of drug abuse, nor do I believe that a cartoon-like image of a pill on a drug is an advertisement for substance abuse. Wanting to ban Moschino’s collection that it promotes drug abuse is an overreaction; it is overly sensitive to deem a handbag that looks like a bottle of pills as an encouragement for insouciant drug use. However, I do sympathise with those who are offended who are suffering from an addiction, or have to use medication as this can be seen as a reducing an inescapable part of their life to a colloquial fashion statement. The uproar that has followed the collection’s launch is certainly hyperbolic but to deem Scott’s designs as insensitive is indeed justifiable.
Despite this, I still think it is an overreaction to ban the collection. Fashion, like any art form, should have the power and platform to discuss and challenge a multitude of popular issues. It is wrong to censor artists who have created controversial pieces, or who use divisive inspiration. The reaction to the Moschino collection shows our society’s gut reaction to things that are offensive is to ban them rather than challenge them. It also attempts to reduce the power of fashion by limiting what it can use as its subject matter. Scott should be allowed to create a ‘capsule’ collection, and fashion designers should be allowed to create provocative and controversial collections.