New York’s Fashion Week runs from February 8 through 16, and if last year’s looks are any indication, 2018 is bound to boast even more cutthroat couture. Not only because of the box-office bingo our favorite genre enjoyed in 2017, but it just seems designers have had a devilish streak of late: We’ve seen runway shows clearly inspired by “Stranger Things,” “The Walking Dead,” and even The Shining!
Fearful fashions have made icons of horror characters since 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein (Elsa Lanchester) which have, in turn, informed some of the most memorable runway productions of all time. The super-stylish erotic vampire thriller The Hunger (1983) spawned Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 1996 collection, also called “The Hunger.” In the film the immortal Catherine Deneuve was dressed by Yves Saint Laurent, while Milena Canonero–who had designed for boutiques before going into cinematic costume–was the threads behind the remainder of the wardrobe.
This year various iterations of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980s psychological thriller The Shining have appeared everywhere from Marco de Vincenzo to Calvin Klein to Undercover’s Jun Takahashi.
As Fashion Undercover reported in their Spring 2018 overview, “De Vincenzo’s homage came in the form of a handbag, which displayed a needlepoint design of the spooky, blue-dress-clad twins who haunted little Danny Torrance in the eerie halls of the Overlook Hotel.”
“At Calvin, Raf Simons gave us his version of the American dream—and the American nightmare—via a Sterling Ruby-designed set that included elements of the horror film, like axes. British Vogue even [likened] one look to an outfit actress Shelley Duvall, who played Jack Nicholson’s wife, sported in the film.”
“As for Undercover, which was presented in Paris, designer Jun Takahashi took it a step further by sending his models out in pairs, their hands interlocked just like the ultra-creepy Grady twins. The finale look was shiver-worthy—a set of models appeared wearing dresses just like the ones from the movie, and one was even draped in red fringe that looked exactly like blood.”
If you’re looking for guts, gore, and glam, look no further than The Neon Demon (2016). This freaky AF film is not only set in the couture world, it actually uses fashions by famous designers. Costumer Erin Benach worked with the likes of Saint Laurent, Giles Deacon, and Hedi Slimane to achieve just the right looks that kill. Elle Fanning’s entrance in a strapless electric blue Emporio Armani spring 2015 dress, Swarovski crystals on her cheekbones and blood streaming down her glistening chest, made quite a visual statement.
Not all horror is visceral. Sometimes it’s more cerebral—The Stepford Wives (1975) is a perfect example. And we do mean “perfect.” That’s the scary part. In the dystopian suburbia of Stepford, CT, husbands systematically slay their wives and replace them with domestic-goddess fembots. The iconic costume worn at the end by Katherine Ross was designed by Anna Hill Johnstone, and it plays a key role showing her transition from human to automaton.
While it’s mostly femme fetales flaunting their fashion, sometimes the guys get in on the act. Of course, David Bowie in The Hunger is an obvious go-to, and so is the label-obsessed Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in American Psycho (2000). But other fashion-forward fellas include Candyman (Tony Todd) and Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd.
The influence of vintage cult horror was on unironic display at fashion shows in almost every city last autumn. Raf Simons of Calvin Klein says his muse is “the dream factory of Hollywood, and its depictions of an American nightmare and the all-powerful American dream.” On the runway his models wore heightened, streamlined 80s-type fashions strongly influenced by “Stranger Things” and Stephen King’s IT.
“Both ‘Stranger Things’ and IT are targeting two audiences at once.” Stacey Abbott, a researcher in on-screen horror at Roehampton University, told The Times UK. “People who actually grew up in the 1970s or 1980s, and those young audiences who feel a false nostalgia, a cultural sense of connection to the music, the clothes, the look of it all.”
Even when they’re not referencing films directly, some designers are tapping into the fright zeitgeist. Ashish delved into darkness with “Witch,” “RIP,” and “Good Mourning” scattered in sequins across his dour ensembles. Calvin Klein’s collection sported blood-spattered skirts and pumps.
As we reported last year, avant garde artist and fashionista filmmaker Flora Sigismondi made a series of creepypastas featuring bloody beautiful famous folks. Even Vogue Italia tapped into the trend with a spine-chilling reel showing off its most shocking looks.
Here’s an ensemble of essential viewing for Fashion Week:
Blood and Black Lace – Posh lingerie, by Tina Grani
The Birds – Upscale mod, by Edith Head
Stepford Wives – Suburban shock, by Anna Hill Johnstone
Eyes of Laura Mars – Couture street fashions, by Theoni V. Aldredge
The Hunger – Vampire Chic, by Yves Saint Laurent
Dressed to Kill – Caught dead in a white trench coat, chosen by Gary Jones & Ann Roth
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – A bounty of brocade, handmade by Eiko Ishioka
Candyman – Full-length shearling coat, chosen by Leonard Pollack
The Neon Demon – Fashion road kill, by Saint Laurent & Armani
American Psycho – Wall Street winners, by Valentino & Oliver Peoples
- Andrew Lyall I love stuff like this, keep em coming!
- Dread Central I kind of need to read this now.
- One-Eye I had the game on the venerable Commodore64 and it was shit. I could just never figure out how to play it and I got killed every time.
- The One and Only One you might've missed was PREDATOR Vs. MAGNUS:ROBOT FIGHTER from 1993 that Dark Horse did with Valiant Comics. Fun two issue mini having Magnus fight a Predator in the Mile Spires of the 41st...
- Jason Pankoke RIP the "Hollywood" R/Greenberg. He went to school and taught at the University of Illinois where I live before moving to NYC and starting his first design firm. I have a souvenir book of an exhibit...
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
Director Fede Alvarez on the Dread of THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
IT FOLLOWS Writer and THIS IS AMERICA Director Team for MAN ALIVE
Warner Bros.’ HORROR MADE HERE Festival Returns This October
Interview: Director Johannes Roberts Discusses THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
Jon Bernthal’s Shane Returning to THE WALKING DEAD?
Bill Skarsgard on Stephen King’s IT: CHAPTER 2’s Adult Cast
Hollywood Science Fiction Museum Founder Arrested on Child Pornography Charges
5 Zombie Films That Flipped The Script
Gender Bashing: Manly Spectacle in PREDATOR
New Stephen King Movie TRAPPED Announced by Richard Chizmar
Exclusive: This PREACHER Clip Ramps up the Spice!
E3 2018: BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2 Giving the Fans a Chance to Create
HEREDITARY – Interview with Writer-Director Ari Aster and the Cast
THE MIMIC – Exclusive Clip Introduces Us to The Girl
Dinosaurs Make Lousy Organ Donors in the TRIASSIC WORLD Trailer
News4 days ago
Remember CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON’S QUEST’s Controversial Nintendo Power Cover?
News6 days ago
Jamie Lee Curtis Did HALLOWEEN: H20 For the Paycheck
News4 days ago
Rob Zombie Says “Sh*t Gets Crazy!” in 3 FROM HELL
News5 days ago
RKSS’ Nostalgia Thriller SUMMER OF ’84 Lands Summer of ’18 Release Date
Reviews5 days ago
ZOMBIE 3 Blu-ray Review – The Combined Might Of Three Italian Gorehounds Makes For One Insane Adventure
News4 days ago
HEREDITARY Officially Box-Office Hit
News5 days ago
TALES FROM THE HOOD 2 Opens This Year’s Fantasia Film Fest
News6 days ago
ELIZABETH HARVEST Starring Abby Lee and Carla Gugino Hits This August