For his second outing at Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti presented a collection inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern myths – a combination of Formichetti’s hometown New York, and Rome where he grew up. The ‘Brothers of Arcadia’ collection was amplified by Formichetti’s accompanying film on XTube that explored the close relationship between fashion imagery and homoerotic pornography.
While Baroque, classical architecture and sculpture were touted as key design references for the collection, the reality was a gaggle of buff models drenched in stretch Lycra and neon green, displaying their cockish masculinity for all to digest. Olympic heroes, surf boys, footballers, porn stars and classical gods strutted the catwalk referencing the iconic fashion imagery of Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber.
Was this presentation possibly about two visions, one of the stylist's and one of the designer's? Where do these roles meet and whose concept should define the clothes, that will ultimately, and hopefully, end up in international stores?
The clothes nodded to the Mugler archive, through body-con shapes and second skin silhouettes. The most successful garments were the dissected suit jackets that were held together by transparent strips. Pastel tailoring, snow-washed denim and paneled knitwear bought the slight swimwear and sequined leggings back into reality – perhaps the showpieces distracted from some well-executed and believable garments.
Overall the assertively trashy collection was defined more by concept than by real clothes, but perhaps this is the aim of the Mugler vision, whose ambition is to build an international profile and attract new audiences.