paris fashion week: thierry mugler
(images via style)
i’m not sure whether i’m getting softer, harder, or just more resistant to mainstream fashion-thought, but (once again) in sharp contrast to what the fashionie critics were saying of the s/s 2012 thierry mugler show, presented at paris fashion week, i just didn’t think it was that bad. that said, a season ago, i was all with them, wondering why it had been resurrected at all, but maybe i’m just feeling kinder because lady g wasn’t there. maybe, but i don’t think so. i mean, at least they weren’t carbon-knockoffs of the pieces the house’s founder put out back during his heydey as creative director nicola formichetti’s debut at the brand largely represented.
anyway, cathy horyn of the nyt pretty much summed up the mass feeling in the lone short paragraph devoted to the house, with many more raving words framing it, going out to the other parisian brands. “Lady Gaga, appearing on a giant screen at the Mugler show, advised us not to mess with the Mugler woman, although that’s not the word she used. Then she went on to thunder about Mugler and Paris, as if it were the last word in cool, but of course the more she thundered the more empty the claim was. The cool people were surely at café enjoying a drink. The designer Sébastien Peigné, who works with the creative director Nicola Formichetti, is better than the slashed looks that appear on the runway, in white and makeup-tone beige.”
well said, i suppose, as was wwd's point that “(t)he clothes…remained secondary to the hype.” in reality, what manifested felt not unlike a pared-down version of what haider ackermann is wont to put out, but perhaps without the detail or oomph. as wwd goes on to describe, “(t)he collection began as a science fiction-tinged sea of beige and white body-conscious shapes with curved, asymmetric cuts and cutouts. There was a futuristic yet prehistoric quality to the jackets and skirts that were short in front and long in the back but resembled rawhides. They had something in common with what Raquel Welch wore in ‘One Million Years B.C.,’ minus the rough, organic part. That’s to say it was all quite sexy and slick, but at the same time bland.”
both vogue and style were a little more reticent with their negative commentary, the former writing that “(s)etting out in mustard-nude tones, we saw all-in-one cape hybrids with cut-outs, then dresses that curved round the bust, again with cut-outs just beneath and then jackets built up high in the shoulder, some sequin-glitter smeared jeans and then a more gothic and grungy approach in black with leather trousers and coats that had more than a hint of Halloween about them towards the end. It perhaps just wasn’t quite the steamy party that it was last season.”
style, though, opted to focus on the fact of the brand’s ascent in the eyes of the people, pointing out all the friends they’ve got on their social network pages. that seems to be as relevant a point as any for many fashionies nowadays (seo’s, after all), but wwd made the most salient remark of the day: “(o)nce Gaga loses interest, one wonders if this collection will have any relevance.” i can’t help but wonder whether her contributions help as much as they hurt (at least in the high-fashion circles). to some, she’s seen as merely a joke, the denny’s version of couture to daphne guinness’ nobu. true, she keeps the kids interested, but does she really have a hand in it? does mr. formichetti? how much, after all, is designer sébastien peigné (whose name we barely hear) actually behind it all?
like balmain, i’m left wondering how related to high fashion the house of thierry mugler today is, or whether any of us can actually judge it squarely. suffice it to say no one thinks there was anything exciting or new here, but would that feel that way were it presented under a different label, the name of no one we’d ever met (or, conversely, under a fashionie-beloved titled like balenciaga)? so no, i didn’t find the show terrible, but neither was i expecting much. my prediction, then, is this: the house mr. mugler built will keep rollin’ along, gathering love from the kids who so admire lady g & mr. formichetti, until the day they decide to unceremoniously dump it, ‘founding’ their own house, or some other such nonsense. then we’ll either see it struggle along the way of halston and vionnet, or be primed for a real revival and some relevancy, the way it really used to be.
(see a brief collection video, served alongside a lady g short film apparently made for the show, here)