To the soaring, ominous soundtrack from Brian de Palma’s horror classic Carrie, the penultimate model stalked down the Mugler runway wearing a tight-fitting suit in shiny leather, her face half hidden behind a nun-like white headpiece. Elegance and solemness with a sexy undercurrent. Too bad we had to wait so long to find a strong statement in this tepid show.

In his program notes, creative director Nicola Formichetti cited inspiration from the “bygone glamour of air travel, the curved symetries of Brasilia, the structures of the airport, and the heroines of film noir.” It produced powdery geometric tailoring (oval-shaped coats, round-shouldered jackets), worn with to-the-knee skirts and low-heeled shoes, with hoods circling the faces of the models—think Tippi Hedren at Cape Canaveral.

Apart from the fact that architectural tailoring isn’t big news, the petal and cutout effects were a hit-and-miss affair, and some of the shapes looked downright misjudged. Indeed, some the skirts’ fronts had a bloused look, adding volume to the hipline—which few women generally want. And the gray crop-top ringed with a fluffy orange fabric will certainly go down as one of the most outlandish creations of the season.

The problem with this two-headed women’s line (Sébastien Peigné is the designer; the two of them come out for the bow) is that it’s still hard to comprehend its positioning. Who are they targeting? Working women? Do fashionistas wear the brand? Will the cool, young, internet-savvy generation that loves Formichetti’s lively aesthetic find something in his Mugler offerings? Since his arrival at the house two years ago, Formichetti has taken several routes, groping at the right formula. Despite these efforts, the label has yet to take off.

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