The forthcoming comedy-horror series Scream Queens – the latest brainchild of Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck, Glee and American Horror Story – is rushing towards the schedules waving a gaudy, glittering banner saying, "We want to be a cult hit!" To that end, Murphy and his team are ramping all the show's elements to the farthest degree the network (Fox) will allow, including the design.
Purportedly inspired by 80s' slasher films, the trailer for the show seems to indicate that its greatest debt is to Michael Lehmann's 1989 film Heathers, only with a far bigger budget. As with that cult (ahem) hit of a quarter of a century ago, the peer pressure within a sorority is a key theme and star Emma Roberts and her cohorts are decked out in what may well come to be known as Scream Queens fashion: the plushest, lushest gear possible, the better to contrast with the dowdy wannabes they look down upon.
Roberts – her character is even called Chanel – is delighted by the show's over-the-top look. "It's always so fun going to the fittings, because they put together such amazing outfits. I change probably ten times per episode, maybe more." And yes, Chanel does wear Chanel (the character's walk-in closet is two stories high, so it's hardly surprising there should be a couple of her namesake's outfits in there, if only through sheer force of numbers), though Roberts' favorite of the labels she gets to wear on the show is Christian Siriano.
If Scream Queens fashion seems gratuitous in price, that is because it is entirely in keeping with the show's overall aesthetic: this is an unashamed camp-fest, as rich, indulgent, luxurious and shamelessly sinful as a banquet which has Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake as each of its five courses. If that sounds like a feast to you, then by all means, jump in! Provided of course you don't spill anything on your little black Chanel dress.