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Friday, 29 June 2012

Mugler: Menswear and Resort 2013.

This lookbook was strikingly photographed by the head designer himself, Nicola Formichetti, and the clothes were consistently beautiful in a way that still managed to fit in with Resort season's less extravagant mood. Just like how a good album ought to be played at maximum volume, these photos should be as big as possible so you can feast your eyeballs on all that agonisingly clean-cut precision.
There's just something so clean and perfect about this collection -- I love it. The Mugler look has always involved a lot of artificial fabrics and inorganic silhouettes but since Nicola Formichetti took over, the label has taken on a far less aggressive aesthetic and begun to concentrate more on tailoring.

Of course, Mugler tailoring isn't the kind of traditional work we see from the designers who are known for their suits and eveningwear. Formichetti focuses on structure, with this Resort collection looking more like airplane wings and aerodynamic speedboats than normal clothing, even though the pieces themselves (simple skirts and dresses) are technically far more conventional than the iconic spiked corsets of Mugler's heyday in the '90s.
The title of the collection was "Kabuki Kiss", which, OK, is not a good title. It's not like fashion shows ever have particularly inspired and/or comprehensible titles, but this time round it's almost as if they just picked "Kabuki" out at random from a bunch of well-known Japanese words. While the designs did show some Japanese influences, they certainly weren't Kabuki influences -- particularly since the most recogniseable visual of Kabuki is the makeup, and the model's face was hidden in almost every picture. Also, this is one of the least theatrical Mugler shows I've ever seen, what with the smooth silhouettes, the minimalist backdrops and the distinct lack of fetishwear influences.

I don't understand why all Formichetti/Mugler designs don't get bought up and/or plagiarised by sci-fi movie costume designers. (Sidenote: if the costumes in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner sequel aren't any good, then we can totally start a Kickstarter to sue him, right? That's a thing people can do?)
Mugler's Spring 2013 menswear line was a lot less dramatic than the Resort collection, although it did share its largely monochrome colour-scheme and pristine tailoring. The theme, supposedly, was the ocean, although even once I knew this I was hard pressed to see many underwater influences in a show that was mostly made up of razor-sharp, futuristic suits and lapel-free jackets.
There are unnumbered rules on how and when women can show their cleavage/arms/legs to the world, most of them counterintuitive, but for men the rules are relatively simple: do what you like, as long as it doesn't look "like a girl". So, many of the menswear designs that are brought low by the Zoolander Effect do so because they're exposing too much and/or the wrong area of manflesh. However, Mugler takes what I can only describe as the classy approach. For the last couple of seasons a lot of womenswear labels have been experimenting with designs that incorporate slits and windows into unexpected areas like mid-torso and around the ribs (which doesn't translate well to mainstream fashion because normal people have, you know, fat on their mid-torso and rib areas...) with varying results, and this is the menswear equivalent. Formichetti sidesteps any Zoolander issues by making the more revealing outfits as strict as possible in other areas: square shoulders, relatively conservative suit-tailoring, and all-black or all-white colour schemes.

This black outfit looks like it's made from diving suit material so I guess it could be construed as being ocean-themed?? Although to be honest all it really reminds me of is Spock's black Starfleet uniform in the Star Trek reboot movie, which only serves to tear a hole in my soul because then I remember that I have to wait an entire year until Star Trek 2.

Previously: Gareth Pugh and Thierry Mugler: Who needs trends when you're an intergalactic bug-queen?


  1. Are we sure that the Star Trek resemblance is a coincidence? Because the model kind of looks like Spock's awkwardly-teenaged-younger-but-taller brother, right down to the hairstyle and ears.

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