about the collection
Two years on and Formichetti’s Midas touch is clear to see. Thierry Mugler was bestowed the high honour of being invited by the Chambre Syndicale to show on the Haute Couture schedule in 1992, and tonight Formichetti demonstrated a respect for the craftsmanship of the house, rather than simply focusing on the headline-grabbing corseted silhouettes of Mugler’s heyday (besides, he has Lady Gaga, who he named Mugler’s in-house music director, for that). Knifes pleats transformed second-skin tailored dresses, allowing flirty flicky movement when the models marched. Leather robe-like jackets that folded over the body – staying put with no fastenings but just the expert cut to keep them in place – in grown-up putty and chestnut will be snapped up by those who loved Mugler the first time around (and no longer manage those sculpted, waist-cinching, cleavage-boosting mini dresses).
Wong Kar Wai’s film In the Mood for Love was referenced, and here came the tougher Formichetti-Mugler we were expecting; a lacquered (varnished lambskin, actually, but you get the Japanese interiors reference), burgundy armoured top had Samurai connotations, as did the vents slashed into the side of a patent-leather mini dress. Black chiffon trousers were worn with mini shorts underneath and belted with taekwondo sashes. Colour was rich and seductive – grape, jade, sunburst orange, toffee, optic white and stone – and texture was at play – hyper-shine met mid-shine met matte. It never felt pastiche, as it could have done given that Formichetti cited the heavily costumed Japanese Noh theatre as an influence. He emerged wearing a T-shirt of two Noh faces kissing, but that was as literal as it got.
There were no stylist gimmicks here; these were properly tailored, carefully constructed, no doubt screamingly expensive clothes. Oh, just one stylist gimmick – get the most controversial music star of the moment (we’re looking at you Lady Gaga), to unveil her new track – a dalliance with rap called Cake – at the show itself. And of course his front row was not to be sneezed at; Azealia Banks, with the new Naboo clutch already in hand (Mugler’s new handbag line was unveiled tonight on the catwalk), Leigh Lezark, Sky Ferreira. You’ve got to hand it to him, Formichetti knows how to deliver the whole package.
images credit: Vogue