Break open the champagne, put on a corset, and do a funny little dance, because Mugler has brought sexy back, again!
Since appointing Casey Cadwallader as its creative director in late 2017, the brand (pronounced moog-lair, if you were in any doubt) has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. Gone are the slightly awkward dresses that were too nice for the office but not quite good enough for anything fancy and the strange obsession with leather, orange and brown tones and fake zip details that seemed omnipresent in the work of previous creative director David Koma, they’re thankfully being replaced by corsets and sculpting seams, large and in charge silhouettes and colour palettes that straddle the line between clashing and complementing.
The 2021 Fall Collection is the pinnacle of Cadwallader’s creative career so far, propelling the brand to heights it hasn’t reached since Thierry Mugler himself was in charge. Not only do his collections just keep on getting better, but he’s also trying to re-establish Mugler as a pop culture mainstay. Did you know the outfits worn by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in the WAP music video were designed by him? In fact, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid and Rihanna have all worn pieces from Cadwallader’s Mugler.
As for the outfits themselves, I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to give a closer look:
Is she a cowgirl? Is she a biker? Is she a secret agent? I don’t know. But what I do know is that she means business! I love the contrast of the cut-outs and sheer panelling with the long strips of black material. I also love the dichotomy of the masculine, structured, almost modest sleeves and upper shirt and the modern, revealing leggings that taper out into a feminine and almost skirt-like hem.
This is a really interesting approach to a deconstructed floral look. Whereas floral patterns have been going in and out of fashion since the dawn of time, this outfit sees the model herself become a flower, with an asymmetrical wrap-style hem reminiscent of petals and very dark olive tights and shoes as the stem. The vertical lines on the tights paired with the shortness of the dress combine to give the illusion of extra height too.
There’s definitely something Roman, even gladiatorial about this one. The sunburst style panelling on the corset is a really nice addition, and the boots really match the rest of the look. In fact, this look is full of little details – the model’s nails match the corset, and her lips match the skirt. It’s the finishing touches like that which have helped Mugler re-enter the world of fashion after being gone for so long.
There was also an all-black variant of this look with hidden yellow heels and tights that could be seen through a slit in the dress when the model walked, again showcasing Cadwallader’s ability to surprise.
This might be my favourite of the lot. I actually don’t really know what to say about it because I feel like it shouldn’t work, but yet it does. It’s denim and satin, black and blue, with belt-loops and heels, but it’s still unnervingly cohesive. The model’s pose really sells it too!