by Stephen Garner

Filmed on the legendary back lots of Universal Studios, Moschino presents the one, the only, Miss Karen Elson in Lightning Strikes: The Moschino Mini-Musical. Director and designer Jeremy Scott has created a short vignette capturing Miss Elson singing and dancing her way through a cinematic dreamscape, all while dressed in the Moschino’s latest spring/summer 2022 collection.

At first, we meet our chanteuse in a busy coffee shop, working through the monotony of her day shift. She eyes the diner’s jukebox, and, soon enough, can’t resist the pull of the music. In her own brilliant, breathy vocals, Miss Elson starts crooning a cover of “Everybody Dance,” the 1977 hit by the band Chic. She’s wearing a rainbow day dress, with extended collars and multi-color buttons. The restaurant’s patrons join her, sporting varsity jackets with “Moschino” lettering across the back, colorful cardigans with contrast trims, and highlighter-bright twinset sweaters and skirts.

Popping into the kitchen, Miss Elson finds herself in a make-believe interlude, running into the chef—now dressed in a double-breasted, silver-sequined suit—while her outfit has morphed into a pink-sequined bustier-top dress with a frill along the side. They waltz, while a fantasy fashion show of food-inspired looks struts through the room: a malt-shop mini, a hotdog dress, a melted and sprinkled ice-cream frock with cheeky (and busty) wafer cones.

Our songstress then heads on down to “Funkytown,” stepping out onto the cobblestones in her platform Mary-Janes to cover the 1979 smash by Lipps Inc. A full ensemble number ensues, as the dancers wear a decade-spanning mashup of technicolor belted coats, fedoras, pinstripe three-piece tailoring in acid-bright tones, prim and proper uptown jackets, and much, much more.

Next up? The cinema, of course. Miss Elson ducks away from the street scene, walking into a theater that transforms itself into a retro-reverie. She’s in a human pinball machine, and she’s now wearing a dress and shrunken Moschino biker jacket, both in glinting pink foil and both embellished with the game’s prize decals as beaded tassels. Here, she sings her new original track—“Lightning Strikes”—as her dancers don eveningwear all-over printed with vintage arcade and comic book schemes. And even though the old adage says “lightning never strikes the same place twice,” in this revue, electricity lights up the room again and again.

“I wanted to take the excitement, the glamour, and the whimsy of all the old Hollywood musicals and use them as a vehicle to show this collection,” said Scott. “This season, it’s all about song and dance! And few things make me happier than when style and cinema collide.”