Karen Elson Stars in the Glorious Moschino Mini-Musical ‘Lightning Strikes’
We admit it, we can never really get enough of Karen Elson. The Nashville-by-way-of-Manchester supermodel turned genuine Renaissance woman seriously broke our hearts with her viscerally honest, strikingly confessional 2017 album Double Roses, which was a lot about her moving on from a very difficult time in her life. She told BlackBook at the time, “When I embraced the vulnerability within the writing process, there was something that was way more connected. I got real with myself, and dug into that deep, intricate part of myself.”
It’s reasonable to assume, though, that she is standing tall and strong these days. After all, at the height of the fear and anxiety during the COVID resurgence last December, she went ahead and recorded an EP of cover songs cleverly titled Radio Redhead Vol. 1, which ends with an uplifting cover of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ concluding with the hopeful lyric, “We’ll meet again / Don’t know where / Don’t know when / But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.” (We’d really like that, of course.)
But perhaps even more indicative of her current state of mind is her performance in an utterly glorious new short film collaboration with Moschino, with the distinctly electrifying title Lightning Strikes. It’s a mini-musical, of sorts; and considering that Broadway – actually nearly all theater all around the world – has been completely shuttered for the last sixteen months, it’s like a big, bold, colorful blast of happiness therapy.
Directed by the Milan fashion house’s longtime – eight years is a long time in fashion – Creative Director Jeremy Scott, it opens with Ms. Elson shlepping burgers in a diner where everyone is decked head to toe in Moschino…which is maybe what diners are like in Heaven? She then drops a coin in the jukebox, and breaks into exuberant song and dance, taking the vocals on the Chic classic ‘Everybody Dance’ – which lyrics to sound like an exact formula for just what we need at the other end of this long and terrible pandemic.
“Music never lets you down
Puts a smile on your face
Any time, any place
Dancing helps relieve the pain
Soothes your mind, makes you happy again
Listen to those dancing feet
Close your eyes and let go”
And wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what everyone in the diner does.
Karen then takes to the streets in search of ‘Funkytown,’ rocking a fierce green and yellow pinstripe suit. It all concludes with her going totally glam with the Mott the Hooplesque / T-Rexariffic ‘Lighting Strikes,’ an original song she composed specifically for the film. And just watching her tear up the stage in a shrunken Moschino glinting pink foil biker jacket, it’s hard not to feel a level of exhilaration that we haven’t felt in a very, very long time.
“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,” Scott enthuses. “This season, it’s all about song and dance! And few things make me happier than when style and cinema collide.”
Though we’re pretty sure he meant to add “and Karen Elson” to that sentence.