God Is A Woman. Mugler SS21

God is a woman, and she’s wearing Mugler. Casey Cadwallader‘s vision for the brand is empowering, inclusive and boldly feminine. That’s again demonstrated in his spring-summer 2021 collection, which wasn’t presented during Paris Fashion Week, but as an off-the-schedule sci-fi video starring Bella Hadid and friends of the label. Cadwallader pointed out the increasing importance of music videos in the absence of live performances. He’s working on clothes for those apparently, too – just think Miley Cyrus, Cardi B and Caroline Polachek! In fact, about half of his time is spent on VIP requests. The other 50% he expends on the label’s ready-to-wear, but he’s not exactly playing it safe with this category either. “I felt it was time to deal with the fantasy side of Mugler,” he said, referring to the house founder’s infamous collections of the 1990s. There’s the hyper-sexy clothes, and then there’s the way he’s going about making them. Cadwallader is putting a lot of effort into sourcing more sustainable materials. He says those bodystockings will be constructed with 100% recycled lycra by autumn 2021. And he’s also working at lowering the prices of pieces like the twisting-seam jeans he designed for his first Mugler collection two years ago and the Lycra and illusion tulle leggings and tops that he likens to “complex puzzles” of couture pattern-making. “There’s energy in young people that want to buy Mugler,” he said. That jibes with the trend toward body-conscious – and body-positive! – collections we saw this season at brands like Fendi and Eckhaus Latta. Also, what’s new – Mugler is moving to a see-now-buy-now model starting in February. This capsule collection is a “prelude” of that outing. Many brands failed with this business-mode, but who knows, a brand like Mugler might really pull it off.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Sensational. Mugler AW20

Casey Cadwallader‘s Mugler is sensational. His vision of the brand is compatible with Thierry Mugler’s dramatic, super sexual vision of the brand, but makes it look contemporary and fit for women of all sizes and generations. A good many of the looks on his fall runway weren’t even street legal. Wearing the body stockings – sheer save for black insets echoing Mugler’s famously dangerous curves – would require a bodyguard. Mesh dresses studded with a grid-like precision were somewhat more discreet and a shade more democratic for that reason. Cadwallader adopted a similarly fierce attitude for his tailoring. Much of it was cut from leather. He also continues in mastering his stretch pieces. Jackets were shaped by integral corsets, or else they came with portrait necklines that framed the bust. He even went so far as to build garter belts into the waistbands of a couple of leather skirts. Cadwallader is one of the few designers that sees sexy in all sizes. There “are 2s, 4s, 6s, 8s, 10s,” he said of his lineup. “You feel them turning on when they put on these clothes.” Big yes.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.