Kicking off Paris Menswear week in style, Nicola Formichetti and designer Romain Kremer celebrated one year of Mugler (it's their third season of menswear, having launched in January 2011) by taking the brand into a new era... the one where you can actually wear the stuff! There was a strong feeling of sartorial common sense - at least by modern Mugler standards - as wearable suits, bomber jackets and coats rocked down the catwalk. Although at one point the audience almost choked on their Diet Cokes after two models walked out with film cameras strapped to their torsos, one filming himself and the other with his camera pointing at us. But after that the focus definitely returned to the clothes - no more games, no more gimmicks.
"We wanted to do something a bit more dressed up, we wanted the collection to be more about the clothes this time and focus on the tailoring"
Throughout the show, the duo worked their suits hard. Black, burgundy and bottle green with white shirt and no ties. If anything the attention was drawn to the fit, colour and shape by having taken out the jacket's lapels and many of the shirt collars, thus creating a new focus point. The fabrics varied from leather, lacquered cotton, heavy silk, wool to more synthetic ones like plastic and rubber... often looking so alike that it was difficult to tell what materials were natural fabrics and what was man made. Many of the silhouettes were taken from the 70s and 80s, when Thierry Mugler was popular the first time around, but mixed in with that futuristic aesthetic that Kremer does so well through cropped jackets with plastic panelling.
"It's about nostalgia for the future in a way, how we remember imagining to the future"
With shimmer in their hair, posing in front of a sparkling board and a few glitter shirts and shoes, there were elements of the good old Mugler glamour in the A/W12 as well, but with a harsh almost military-like, feeling of uniforms and formality. All this was, of course, completely turned around at times when Formichetti's sense of humour prevailed and jackets and coats covered in half a poncho made everyone smile.
Dazed Digital: What was your main inspiration moving into A/W12
Nicola Formichetti: We wanted to do something a bit more dressed up, we wanted the collection to be more about the clothes this time and focus on the tailoring.
DD: What was the mood you wanted to portray?
Nicola Formichetti: A feeling of night life, formal but without being formal and still cool. We referenced military and Marine uniforms. The idea was to make it dark without using black, very subtle.
DD: So it was a dark blue instead of black...
Nicola Formichetti: Everything you see is not what you think, it's the opposite. So it was blue not black. Many of the fabrics were actually leather, and the opposite way around... leathers looking like cotton fabrics!
DD: So how come you all of a sudden turned wearable?
Nicola Formichetti: The last few seasons were all about introducing the brand, a year ago we brought out Ricko on the catwalk. It was about finding our language, now it was about focus on the clothes.
DD: Do you reference the future or the past more? There are both retro and futuristic elements in the collection...
Nicola Formichetti: Both! It's about nostalgia for the future in a way, how we remember imagining to the future. There's a nod towards Parisian 70s and 80s night club scene but meeting Terminator.
DD: Is there a stand out piece in the collection?
Nicola Formichetti: I love this look, its a business suit but with a cape on top... he's not wearing a tie, the cape is fake leather and the shoes are glittery so it's like he's working but he doesn't know where he's going...