Freaky Fashion: Six Horror Films That Bled Onto The Runway

Spooky season is finally in full swing and with All-Hallows-Eve happening tonight, there’s no better a time to dig into the horror flicks that have influenced designers and their uncanny collections that now. Just sit, back, relax, and scream!


The ultimate cult horror film is a hot topic of discussion, but whether it’s number one of number 20, Carrie is always on the list. Based on the novel by Stephen King, Carrie confronts societal norms and disrupts them through themes of vengeance, simultaneously juxtaposing supernatural entities with the innate evil of human beings. JW Anderson’s interpretation of this though the AW22 Carrie capsule collection comes to life with striking images and typographic references to the chilling 1976 film. Anderson was inspired by the main character: Carrie White, a teenager that uses telekinetic powers to get revenge on her peers for bullying her. Button ups, shirts, hoodies and more are plastered with the films most famous scene wherein Carrie attends her high school prom. She’s depicted in a blissful state of being as she’s crowned prom queen, before a bucket of pig’s blood is poured over her head. Horrifying. 

Photography courtesy of JW Anderson. Carrie © 1976 – 2022 and TM Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Everybody loves a bit of Heaven. The Marc Jacobs’ sister label became a viral sensation the moment it hit the market, fostering the subcultural interests and desires of modern consumers – especially Gen Z – in the digital age. This freshly launched capsule collection in collaboration with 2001’s cult-classic dark indie drama, Donnie Darko, is just another example how its Hot-Topic-esc aesthetics are so addicting. Hoodies, T-shirts and Frank-inspired accessories are inspired by the brooding elements of the film, its characters and Donnie Darko’s succinct experience: one of uncanny vibes, not plot points.

Shot in Donnie Darko’s original LA film locations by Zamar Velez, the campaign is a brain-teasing, dark and mysterious display that, like the movie, trifles with themes of time-travel, reality and tragedy. It remakes scenes from the film, including an almost-shot-for-shot remake of one of the movie’s most memorable scenes: the fight at the dinner table between Donnie and his sister. While Jake Gyllenhaal who played Donnie in the film didn’t reprise his role for Heaven, James Duval – who played Frank – is shown donning the same spooky bunny suit he wore in the movie. The brand even approached the film’s original director Richard Kelly for art direction.

Photographed at original film locations in Los Angeles by Zamar Velez with art direction by director Richard Kelly


Always inhabiting a self-started cinematic universe, Gucci’s out-of-the-box AW22 advertising campaign, Exquisite, paid tribute to the late American film director, producer, screenwriter and photographer, Stanley Kubrick. Known for his seminal works The Shinning, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick is one of the most visionary filmmaker of our time (he’s described as “a real sculptor of genres” and, “the cross-genre director” by former creative director at Gucci Alessandro Michele). As an act of love, Michele reinhabited and reinterpreted some of those cinematic masterpieces; disassembling, blending, grafting and reassembling them again to catch his clothing in the crosshairs of the past and the present. The result was glamorous and macabre at once, forbidden and romantic with aged aesthetics like something straight off of the 1970s silver screen, but rendered in high definition.

Photography by Mert & Marcus. 2001: A Space Odyssey and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s22). 


Rosemary’s Baby is a psychological horror film classic directed by Roman Polanski based on the 1967 Ira Levin novel of the same name. Starring Mia Farrow as a young (soon pregnant) wife living in Manhattan, it deals with perturbing subjects like occultism, paranoia and women’s liberation as she begins to her elderly neighbours of Satanism and grooming her in order to use her baby for their cult rituals, channelling them into a psychologically-charged body horror underscored by themes of maternity and motherhood.

Creative director Joseph Altuzarra revealed that the past few seasons were about imagination and myths for him; this season was no different. Drawing inspiration from the film, the collection “exudes a haunting, enigmatic allure, while anchored in everyday style and pragmatism” according to the designer. Altuzarra experimented with proportions crafting a new kind of aesthetic femininity by applying elements of 1960’s style to modern materials and the films pastel palette to a range of tender babydoll dresses – just like Rosemary would wear.


French menswear designer Louis Gabriel Nouchi has been lauded for his uniquely contemporary approach to design since he stepped onto the scene in 2017, usually basing his collections on the intricacies of a book or its author. For AW23, Nouchi drew inspiration from the seminal and psychologically thrilling novel American Psycho, written by Bret Easton Ellis in 1991 – which, in 2000, was transformed into a dramatic thriller for the silver screen by Mary Harron. Blood-spattered models marched across the runway, wearing beefy, razor-sharp tailoring, latex and leather like Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) after a murder spree. Transmuting horror into an emblem of strength, the collection and its instigating film, navigate toxic masculinity through a prism of violence in white-collar settings and NYC’s era of excess. It’s Psycho, but make it fashion.


Shown at the Milan Men’s Fashion week, Prada’s SS24 collection, through the creative alligance of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simmons, was all about aliens. Not the cute, green kind, but the slimy, gangly sort we saw in the 1979 cult sci-fi horror film, Alien.  The Ridley Scott-directed seminal sci-fi horror flick follows an encounter between the Nostromo space crew and a horrifying yet mysterious extraterrestrial life form. Oft-regarded as “culturally” significant, Alien spawned a wide influence in the fields of media, film and fashion; and as we know, became the inspiration for Prada’s Fluid Forms show.

Playing with the paradox of simplicity and expansion, fundamentals and decoration, the silhouettes and garments sent out were surrounded by dripping curtains of slime and meant to embody the fluidity of the human form with warped reptilian graphics peppering its shirts in particular. What better embodiment of the fragility of masculinity than a ravenous alien plastered across the chest.

Top image: Heaven by Marc Jacobs + Donnie Darko photographed at original film locations in Los Angeles by Zamar Velez with art direction by director Richard Kelly


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