Style Points is a weekly column about how fashion intersects with the wider world.At one point this spring, Jeremy Scott indulged in a piece of self-care. Prompted by “how infuriatingly disgusting the news has become,” he turned off CNN and switched his TV’s default setting to Turner Classic Movies, where he happened upon a film that stirred his imagination. Lili, starring Leslie Caron as a naïf who “befriends” a group of puppets, was one of the inspirations for his spring 2021 Moschino collection (along with the less TCM-friendly Team America: World Police.) When we spoke over the summer, Scott had been mulling over the importance of bringing emotion back to fashion. His solution came in an unlikely format: marionettes, made in collaboration with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, who “walked” his onscreen runway, under the gaze of a phalanx of marionette fashion editors.This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Scott may be particularly in touch with his inner child (past Moschino collections have been themed around Barbie and paper dolls, and he proudly cites that he was the first designer to dress Miss Piggy.) But he wasn’t alone in turning to the spirit of play in recent months. As part of Dior’s fall 2020 couture film in July, petits mains labored over doll-sized versions of the house’s couture creations. JW Anderson’s spring 2021 “show in a box” brought the runway home for lucky recipients, with paper cutouts of models in the clothes subbing in for the real thing. Anderson’s show notes called it “a celebration of fashion at its most frivolous, embellished, poetic; escapist and liberating, even.” And the New York label Dauphinette sent out paper dolls to editors this season in lieu of a lookbook.
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The use of dolls and marionettes wasn’t just a workaround for physical shows, though that was surely part of the appeal right now. It also felt like a playful throwback to a time in all our lives when fashion was theoretical in a fun way: namely, childhood. One of the first ways I engaged with fashion was drawing paper dolls of imaginary collections I’d wear “someday,” and I’m sure countless designers cut…