Travel – the culture, art and sheer act of it, has been a constant source of inspiration for designers so it’s no major surprise that Nicola Formichetti focused his latest Mugler collection around it. This, however, was travel of a different medium – that of time. On a more personal note, Formichetti took a trip down memory lane; his mother was an air hostess. But in the rail hangar space of Halle Freyssinet, built in the 1920s to accommodate freight, Formichetti alongside womenswear designer Sébastien Peigné also time travelled to the sixties and nineties while effortlessly catapulting Mugler the brand forward. Quite the feat, actually.
The show opened with a short jacket and just-below-the-knee skirt so rounded and curved they’d make both Cristobal Balenciaga and Oscar Niemeyer smile. In soft grey cashmere, the shoulders were dropped and round, the sleeves stood away from the body and even the lapel line was – you guessed it – round. The skirt itself was almost bubbling away, the hips wanting to burst into a peplum of sorts but restriction and precision kept everything in place. Those looks, also in pale blue and a graphite grey, were elegance personified and Formichetti was in total control, never letting them move into period costume land. That was a place we would not be visiting today although the futuristic mid part of the show, the folded silk satin tops, skirts and dresses that had been invaded by a graphic print, did strike an odd note. Never mind, the peach bouclé coat over dark blue wet patent leggings was utterly modern and the cropped tops with high-sitting skirts and mannish trousers were on the right side of the Nineties. What a trip!