At Moschino, Jeremy Scott takes a stab at haute Hollywood horror

The finale of the Moschino 2020 resort and men's spring and summer runway shows presented Friday on the Universal Studios backlot.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

For the 2020 resort and men’s spring and summer collections, Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott mined some of Hollywood’s best-known monster movie properties including “King Kong,” “The Mummy” and “Scream,” to turn out a haute horror collection that crept out of creepy cul-de-sac on Universal Studios’ backlot.

It’s the fourth time the Italian luxury brand has presented the two collections together here in a combined format (last year’s was a circus-themed extravaganza at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank), and, like the Saint Laurent show presented on a Malibu beach the night before, it made the most of its SoCal surroundings.

In this case it was access not only to Universal Pictures’ deep bench of horror-film properties but its real estate too — specifically the generic-looking suburban streetscape known as Colonial Street. Most familiar as the Wisteria Lane setting for the series “Desperate Housewives,” over the last half-century-plus it has been the backdrop for countless movies (“Bedtime for Bonzo,” “The ‘Burbs” to name just two) and TV shows (“Leave It to Beaver,” “Matlock,” “The Munsters”). But Friday night marked the first time in its 60-year history it had served as a fashion runway.


Looks from the Moschino resort and men’s spring and summer 2020 Spooky Couture runway show presented June 7, 2019, on the Universal Studios backlot.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Just after sunset, with show attendees seated in the middle of the road and the score from “Halloween” on the soundtrack, Colonial Street came to life with the well-heeled undead, corpse brides, sexy devils and pointy-hatted witches consorting with creepy twins, men in Frankenstein’s-monster green leather jackets and mummies in unraveling bandage dresses.

Some of the collections’ fright-themed fashion came by way of traditional Halloween-style details given a luxe upgrade. Delicate gold spiderwebs on a black crepe de chine gown, for example; also a trench coat turned out in blood-red PVC; and a handbag emblazoned with the warning “Beware of Moschino.” A grinning jack-o-lantern design turned up on a range of pieces, including bags, gowns and slip dresses, scarecrow patchwork patterns, mummy-bandage prints and wizard-appropriate crescent moons and stars on others. Even Dracula, the OG of Universal’s monster squad, showed up for fright night, his visage appearing on a sweater in the men’s offerings and a dress in the women’s resort collection.

(For anyone keeping track, this isn’t the first time — even this year — that a Universal Pictures marquee monster has turned up on an Italian luxury label’s runway. Back in February, Frankenstein’s monster and his bride had cameos in Prada’s fall and winter 2019 women’s ready-to-wear collection.)

Looks from Moschino’s haute horror resort 2020 runway collection presented on June 7, 2019, at Universal Studios.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Other looks in the collection hit the creepy couture sweet spot slightly more subtly such as the spooky hand-holding twins clad in identical creepy-caricature-covered knee-length dresses and matching purses and the mask-wearing model in the multicolored crystal-covered dress and rainbow-hued overcoat who lurked off to the side of the runway in a way that evoked the underground dwellers of filmmaker Jordan Peele’s 2019 horror film “Us.”

One of the evening’s most memorable looks managed to have it both ways; from afar it appeared to simply be a white tulle dress straight out of old Hollywood accessorized with a voluminous faux-fur wrap. Upon closer examination, the fur wrap slung over the right shoulder reveals itself to be the clutched fist of King Kong that the wearer held tightly in his clutches.

Scott is in his element when riffing on pop-culture properties (earlier this year he unveiled a Sims collaboration), and the collections he presented Friday night are likely to expand the considerable Moschino fan base even further, especially if the resort collection can materialize on store shelves before all Hallow’s Eve. (Traditionally resort collections ship in mid-November.)

If Moschino manages to pull off that trick, the treat is going to be a seriously haute Halloween.

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