Jeremy Scott brought a slice of Sin City to Hollywood on Thursday night, transforming Milk Studios on North Cahuenga Boulevard into a catwalk version of the Las Vegas Strip, complete with a hodge-podge of neon signs, desert-appropriate boulders and the name Moschino spelled out in vintage light-up letters. And then he filled the runway with a Vegas-worthy assortment of showgirls, Playboy bunnies, denim-clad cowpokes and motocross thrill-seekers.
The June 8 show, a combined presentation of Moschino's 2018 women's resort collection and spring/summer 2018 menswear collection, marks the second time the label's Los Angeles-based creative director has chosen to show here as part of WME/IMG's Made LA lineup, and it made for the perfect point of departure for a rip-roaring Vegas-bound road-trip.
As soon as the first look hit the runway — a sheer pink chiffon prairie dress covered with pin-up girl appliqués — it was clear that this presentation would be as much a trip into the past as a dash across the desert. That pinup girl imagery turned out to be one of the through lines for the women's collection, appearing on pale blue cardigan sweaters, sweatshirts and a range of dresses from barely-there lingerie-inspired looks. Some pieces took the pinup inspiration back a step further to riff on the Playboy bunny — part of a season-specific collaboration with the Playboy brand — that included models in classic bunny-club attire (shoulder-baring bodysuits, fishnet stockings, bow ties and bunny ears) and a few prints showing cartoon characters Betty Boop and Olive Oyl doing their bunny best.
Another recurring motif was an airbrushed tongues-of-flame design that flickered across button-front bustiers and bodysuits for women, while jumping the fireline into the men's collection where they gave a dash of hot-rod flair to three-piece suits and sleeveless SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirts. For what it's worth, the fire-threatened SpongeBob — with bloodshot eyes, wagging tongue and maniacal grin — actually seemed to be enjoying his pending immolation. (Perhaps that's because it's all for a good cause. A portion of proceeds from the SpongeBob pieces will benefit the AIDS organization (RED).) Burning up both collections were flame-kissed cowboy boots and cowboy hats.
The runway collections doubled-down on the Western vibe thanks to a range of denim that included patchworked and patchwork-printed skirts, suits and overalls (our favorite patchworked ensemble consisted of a denim peplum jacket and flared pencil skirt worn down the runway by Miranda Kerr that interspersed denim panels with floral-print ones) and slouchy, faded five-pocket jeans with studding and flame-shaped lace, satin and animal-print appliqués.
A counterpoint to the blousy, breezy laid-back slip dresses came in the form of heavier motocross-inspired pieces including studded leather biker jackets, men's trousers with diamond-pattern quilting at the knees, a women's one-piece bathing suit in fire-engine red with a trompe l'oeil zipper at the décolletage and a couple of motocross sticker prints thrown in for good measure.
Cowhide coats, studded-lapel biker jackets and bra tops managed to key into both the theme of the collection and the designer's penchant for animal prints — as did a knot of snakeskin-patterned pieces that included boots, suit lapels and form-fitting men's and women's trousers.
No Vegas-inspired runway show would be complete without over-the-top sparkle and towering feathered headdresses. And Scott didn't disappoint here either, serving up sequin-festooned finery that included double-breasted suits — standouts were a dusky purple number for the ladies and a sky-blue version for the guys –- bodysuits, swimsuits and the pièce de la résistance, a bra-like top that managed to combine the flame design, sequins and swaying fringe into a showgirl-worthy show-stopper.
Backstage after the show, we found Scott surrounded by a congratulatory celebrity scrum that included Tracee Ellis Ross, Courtney Love, Fergie, Ashley Graham, Vanessa Hudgens and Joe Jonas. In a millisecond of downtime between posing for pictures and air-kissing friends, we asked him if the Las Vegas inspiration had sprung from anything in particular.
"No," he said with a shrug. "I just love Las Vegas. It's a lot of fun." Then he promptly disappeared back into the swirling vortex of well-wishers and picture-takers.
The collections felt as fun as a Vegas road trip and whetted our whet the appetite for an impulsive dash across the desert decked out in a suit of flames.
For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.