Tuesday, 25 January 2011


The most highly anticipated show of the season commanded attention but delivered a slight success. Diverting human traffic to a garage on the rue de Turenne, the show no doubt allured with an impregnable attraction and it was probable, left many huddled for a valuable glimpse of what was to be the rechristened Mugler. With enough anticipation to create a miasma of heat and spirited expectancy, the reformed and reevaluated Mugler had a tall order to account for. This, seemed to me transparent.

A combination of creatives such as Lady Gaga, Romain Kremer and Mariana Vivanco attempted to unleash a new vision for Mugler to crystallize Mugler’s innate use of drama and spectacle with the brand of bombast and bravado. ‘I don’t speak German, but I can if you like’ reverberated through the show, as Gaga’s remix of her latest track was swarmed by furious, slight boys complete with hair matted with grease and oil, some defaced by latex and rife with tyrannical tattoos. With the house’s extortionate glossary, it’s clear certain signatures were diluted which extracted features such as sharp shoulders, slight bursts of colour, lashings of shorn lapels and emphasized proportions. But these were few and far between. They lacked the vigour and drama which remained Mugler’s foundation; instead, they feverishly welded themselves on the more sinister connotations of uniform. Yet, what remained triumphant was the use of materials; man-made neoprene, latex, plastic and nylon provided a grave attitude and suggested an inexorable forcefulness. Also, proportions were pushed, pulled and stretched to the limits with extremely baggy pleated trousers, to tumultuous harsh padding, skin swamping leathers and metal breast-plates which all highlighted Mugler’s preoccupation with superheroes. Leather trousers were aggressively shorn, ripped, zipped, buckled and battered whilst suiting in neon orange and opaque black was relatively sharp. With more fluidity, came more silhouettes clamouring for a second glance with leather which nearly swallowed models whole or sharp coats which left little to define of Mugler.

In distilling these looks to their composite pieces, what filtrates is a wash of wavering colour and cut with the odd venomous, daring spark. Given more of a tonic-shock, the show could have proven more. With this slightly reserved initial approach, perhaps in the long-term the vision and its newfound foundations will grow.

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