Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory was the focus of Scott's Surrealism-inspired collection.

If Salvador Dalí’s studio was stormed by a handful of elegant punks, how might that translate onto canvas? Attempt to picture it if you can. It’s an unusual hypothetical, certainly, but not beyond the bounds of Jeremy Scott’s marvellous imagination, and so served as a central plot device around which he narrated his fall 2023 collection. The starting point? Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory (the one with the melting clocks) set the scene for suiting with undulating lines, followed by a sharp left turn into punk territory and a colourful finale complete with voluminous gowns in Fanta orange and shocking pink.

Let’s unpack. At first, the Surrealist influence of Dalí’s relaxed, stretched out and misshapen clocks is clear. The Moschino collection opened with a series of houndstooth-printed jackets, skirts and dresses that drooped onto themselves, curling and twisting around the body like tides. Gradually, silhouettes stiffened up a bit, designed with less literal translations. For example, on a double-breasted coat, waves were ironed out into a single curve, while a strapless dress embellished with hearts fell into a U shape instead of a V neckline for a subtler homage to Dalí.

Then, Scott veered away from his painting of choice, amplifying the punky mood he set at the start of the show, when he sent models down the runway with jet black wigs that defied gravity and jutted out from all corners. Second-skin mesh long sleeves, studded skirt suits, cropped tuxedo jackets with cone spike trims and XL belts with giant eyelets hung over gowns, all in black, cast a dark atmosphere over the collection, and felt disconnected from its theme.

Could Scott have sensed this too? Maybe that’s why the finale culminated in a series of larger-than-life evening gowns, cleansing the palette from all the black. Full skirts constructed of purple tulle, multicoloured feather jackets, pink satin sleeves with exaggerated bows and an orange evening puffer jacket layered over a mesh dress with floral appliqués closed out the show, pointing the clothes in several new directions. But not before a final gown, covered in sparkles, signalled the end and brought to mind the artwork of a different artist entirely; had it not been for the mention of Dalí, one may conceivably assume allusions to Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

This article originally appeared on GRAZIA AU