Mediocre perfume. That’s all I could associate the name Thierry Mugler with until actually delving into the history and proving myself more than ignorant. Yes, the house may – in recent years – have connoted sweet smelling perfumes like Angel and A Men, but there’s much more behind the facade of easy-money fragrance deals and Beyoncé tour outfits.
The brand, launched in 1973, became one of those labels that would come to define the 1980s and its cult of the body, penchant for graphic shapes and fervent obsession with all things sci-fi.
^ Thierry Mugler AW 2011
At the helm today is the incredibly prolific and talented Nicola Formichetti (otherwise known as stylist to avant-garde starlet Lady Gaga) as Creative Director, with menswear headed up by Romain Kremer, and Sébastien Peigné responsible for womenswear. Whoever head-hunted this team deserves a whopping Christmas bonus.
I mean, I can’t really think of anyone else but Romain Kremer for this label considering his own aesthetic is based on such Mugler-esque traits as clashing colour combos, graphic cut-out details and exaggerated silhouettes. He, too, is a bit of a sci-fi nut and so really is glove in hand with Mugler.
The Autumn Winter 2011 menswear collection debuted yesterday in Paris, and although I’m not planning on major coverage of the shows, I feel this begs exception; this is, after all, a landmark moment, and something tells me Thierry Mugler may just become the new off-key and eccentric house to watch, much like Givenchy has been for several seasons now.
The show opened with a brutalist, sex-infused fetishistic vision that Formichetti is no stranger to since forging his partnership with Gaga a few years back. A tangle of tatty leather and razor-sharp suiting in dark blues and black was presented alongside pieces which screamed Mugler’s name with unbridled delight (the chestpieces and elbow-length gloves).
This aggressive opening then gave way to looser silhouettes in some looks with trousers (above) that referenced military-wear in their olive tones but kept firmly in line with the Mugler practice of taking risks, by being cut impractically wide.
Following this, Kremer and Formichetti gave us another dose of the club-clothing drug, sending models adorned in garish PVC pieces, from a classic trench in electric blue, to a biker-style transparent jacket accompanying an ensemble of eye-popping orange.
Finally, the designers’ party narrative drew to a close and the solemn aftermath was heralded by the above looks which strike me as equal parts heaven-sent and nightmarish.
But would you wear it? Unless you’re planning a Boombox revival or you’re a frequenter of your local S&M bar, then you probably won’t be all too hot on this collection as a whole, though the first set of looks are easily incorporable into any man’s wardrobe. Still, I’m not ashamed to say I adore it, if only for its being a perfect blend of all involved: Kremer, Formichetti and the man himself, Mugler.
Images from Vogue (shot by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com)