Renaissance statues, Surrealism, high-class hookers... these days, there is little that surprises as the purported inspiration behind a catwalk collection. But it still takes a lot of imagination to transform cartoon rodents into muses. Nevertheless, the flamboyant US designer Jeremy Scott did just that with a Mickey Mouse-inspired show at Paris Fashion Week, which drew to a close on Thursday.
Bodycon dresses and hi-top trainers emblazoned with Minnie and Mickey were Scott's weapons of choice in a battle to lighten up not just the schedule of heavyweight shows, but also the economic gloom. "When he came in 1930, in the middle of the Depression, he brought so much joy," explained Scott backstage. "I thought, that's kind of where we are now. So why not Mickey Mouse?"
Why not, indeed? And now everyone is doing it: cool London designers Pam Hogg and Giles Deacon, along with a gaggle of celebrities, have been customising pairs of Mickey's iconic ears to be unveiled at Disneyland Paris later this month. And over in La-La land, Paris (Hilton, not France), Nicole Richie et al have been perfecting their butter-wouldn't-melt poses in girly jewellery featuring Tinker Bell and the Magic Castle by Disney Couture.
But little in fashion is without precedent, and these Mouseketeers are standing on the shoulders of Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo, who sent Mickey ears down the runway in 2007. Back then it all looked a bit inappropriate for anyone over the age of eight. Right now, though, a little bit of childish fun is just what we need.
Disney Couture jewellery is available from www.liberty.co.uk