The house of Mugler has seemingly always been concerned with the spectacle of fashion. Pre-2003, Manfred Thierry Mugler established a vision of fashion and the runway as a medium for performance in his eponymous label. Mugler’s use of theatrics and celebrity alongside his iconic designs pushed the house up in the rankings of fashion, to the point eventually infiltrating wider pop culture.
The house’s current creative director, Casey Cadwallader, has continued this legacy, putting his own spin on the house’s commitment to fashion as spectacle. “Working at Mugler, the idea of a show being a spectacle was his forte. He was such a stageman…And in a way, this is my sort of stripped down version of that”. In his latest venture for the brand, Cadwallader is dodging the traditional runway in favour of a digital showing. In lieu of a physical runway, Mugler has produced a dynamic film showcasing the AW21 collection.
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Since his appointment in 2017, Cadwallader has adapted Thierry Mugler’s vision of fashion and performance for a new generation, by utilising celebrity endorsement and red carpet moments. Last season, this manifested in a film in which models somersaulted and defied gravity – and the presentation was praised for both its ingenuity and shareability.
This time around, Mugler’s Autumn/Winter 2021 show is an immersive viewing experience, meant to captivate its audience whole heartedly. The video takes the viewer out of their seat and places them at the center of the runway. Camera angles are manipulated to guide the line of sight: from leather detailing to a panned out shot of Bella Hadid’s iconic walk, Cadwallader’s latest collection continues his ongoing trajectory in disrupting the traditional runway format, in which a good view is fleeting and hard to come by. Also in the star-studded lineup was Mugler favourite Dominique Jackson, returning to the brand’s film showings, alongside the iconic Kai Isaiah Jamal.
Highlights from the collection itself include a blazer atop glossy tights, as well as gold chain embellishments appearing on multiple garments and adding a cohesive motif. Sheer fabrics take precedence, seen on a corset and backless jacket, whilst elsewhere neons are back, with neon fabric flashing under UV lights and tied around torsos. As ever, the house displays a strong command of the body: cutting and tying new lines and silhouettes with asymmetrical designs.
Check out the full film below.