MOSCHINO, Italy (fashion house)<br />
 Franco MOSCHINO (designer)<br/>
<em>Antica Pasticceria Milano, handbag</em> (c. 1991) <!-- (front) --><br />

leather, acetate (lining) metal (fastenings)<br />
19.0 x 19.5 x 15.5 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2020<br />
2020.707<br />

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EN

IT

Antica pasticceria Milano, handbag

Franco Moschino

Borsa Antica Pasticceria Milano

Franco Moschino

NGV ITALIA COLLECTION

During the 1980s, expensive designer handbags became the ultimate status symbol for a new demographic of wealthy consumers with disposable incomes. By the 1990s, designer ‘it’ bags, emblazoned with logos that were once discreetly stitched inside couture garments, were a staple of the luxury goods industry. Exclusive and expensive, ‘it’ bags from major fashion houses became the ultimate in conspicuous consumption – endorsed by glossy advertising campaigns, high-profile brand ambassadors and celebrity style icons, such as Sarah Jessica Parker.

In this environment, Italian designer Franco Moschino (1950–1994) produced a body of work that playfully satirised these behaviours, haute couture conventions and the fashion industry at large. His collections took aim at faddish statement dressing, taking form in ironic one-liners, printed or embroidered onto garments, and three-dimensional visual puns, realised as accessories. In 1989, Moschino’s first ready-to-wear collection was ironically called ‘Moschino Couture!’.

Moschino’s surreal postmodern juxtapositions called out contemporary fashion culture and its hierarchies. Amusing but also functional, the Antica pasticceria Milano handbag, c. 1990, recalls the misattributed phrase ‘Let them eat cake’ by eighteenth-century fashionista Marie Antoinette. A parody of the ‘it’ bags of the decade, the work is more than a metaphor for the excesses of fashion, with the suggestion it is possible to have one’s cake and wear it too.

Equally irreverent are two works which highlight the era’s materialism and gendered stereotypes with respect to fashion. The glossy black Hanger shoulder bag, c. 1989, is a reference to clichés about runway models, while Steam iron handbag, c. 1990, exposes the social divisions of labour for executive women.

Danielle Whitfield is Curator, Fashion and Textiles, National Gallery of Victoria

MOSCHINO, Milan (fashion house)<br />
 Franco MOSCHINO (designer)<br/>
<em>Hanger shoulder bag</em> (c. 1989) <!-- (front) --><br />

leather, metal, wood, synthetic fibre<br />
<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2015<br />
2015.78<br />

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MOSCHINO, Milan (fashion house)<br />
 Franco MOSCHINO (designer)<br/>
<em>Steam iron handbag</em> (1990s) <!-- (view 1) --><br />

leather, metal, synthetic fabric (lining)<br />
12.0 x 31.5 x 15.0 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2015<br />
2015.79<br />

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Negli anni ’80, le costose borse griffate stavano diventando lo status symbol per una nuova fascia demografica di consumatori benestanti dotati di un reddito spendibile. A partire dagli anni Novanta, le “It Bag” griffate, con i loghi che un tempo erano cuciti con discrezione all’interno degli abiti di alta moda, sono diventate un punto fermo dell’industria dei beni di lusso. Desiderabili, esclusive e costose, le “It Bag” delle principali case di moda sono diventate il massimo del consumo non appariscente, sostenuto da campagne pubblicitarie patinate, ambasciatori del marchio di alto profilo e icone di stile delle celebrità, come Sarah Jessica Parker.

In questo ambiente, lo stilista italiano Franco Moschino (1950-1994) produsse un corpus di opere che satireggiava giocosamente questi comportamenti, le convenzioni dell’alta moda e l’industria della moda in generale. Le sue collezioni presero di mira questo bizzarro modo di vestire, concretizzandosi in ironiche battute, stampate o ricamate sui capi, e in giochi di parole visivi tridimensionali, realizzati come accessori. Nel 1989, la prima collezione ready-to-wear di Moschino prese ironicamente il nome di “Moschino Couture!”.

Le surreali giustapposizioni postmoderne di Moschino misero in discussione la cultura della moda contemporanea e le sue gerarchie. Divertente ma anche funzionale, la Borsa Antica Pasticceria Milano, ca. 1990, ricorda la frase “Che mangino brioche”, erroneamente attribuita alla fashionista settecentesca Maria Antonietta. Una parodia delle “It Bags” del decennio, l’opera è più di una metafora degli eccessi della moda, con la proposta che sia possibile indossare la torta oltre che mangiarla.

Altrettanto irriverenti sono due opere che mettono in discussione il materialismo e il consumismo dell’epoca e gli stereotipi femminili in materia di moda. La luccicante e nera Borsa a gruccia ca. 1989 evoca l’espressione “stendibiancheria”, mentre la Borsa ferro da stiro, ca. 1990, richiama la realtà delle donne dirigenti professioniste, che devono comunque tornare a casa e svolgere le loro mansioni domestiche.

Danielle Whitfield, Curatore, Moda e Tessuti, National Gallery of Victoria

MOSCHINO, Milan (fashion house)<br />
 Franco MOSCHINO (designer)<br/>
<em>Hanger shoulder bag</em> (c. 1989) <!-- (front) --><br />

leather, metal, wood, synthetic fibre<br />
<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2015<br />
2015.78<br />

<!--116058-->

MOSCHINO, Milan (fashion house)<br />
 Franco MOSCHINO (designer)<br/>
<em>Steam iron handbag</em> (1990s) <!-- (view 1) --><br />

leather, metal, synthetic fabric (lining)<br />
12.0 x 31.5 x 15.0 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2015<br />
2015.79<br />

<!--116060-->

MOSCHINO, Italy (fashion house)
Franco MOSCHINO (designer)
Antica Pasticceria Milano, handbag (c. 1991)
leather, acetate (lining) metal (fastenings)
19.0 x 19.5 x 15.5 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by the Bertocchi family, 2020
2020.707

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