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Viva Las Vegas! Jeremy Scott takes Moschino on a rip-roaring road trip to Sin City

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.

Looks from Moschino’s Made LA runway show presented on June 8, 2017, at Milk Studios in Hollywood.
Looks from Moschino’s Made LA runway show presented on June 8, 2017, at Milk Studios in Hollywood.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision / Associated Press far left and second from right and Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times second from left and far right)
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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.

The runway finale of the Moschino women’s resort 2018 and men’s spring and summer 2018 runway show,
The runway finale of the Moschino women’s resort 2018 and men’s spring and summer 2018 runway show, which took place on June 8, 2017, at Milk Studios in Hollywood.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

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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.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.

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