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Mugler Womenswear SS13

Nicola Formichetti and Sébastien Peigné take new gen Mugler to the street

PhotographyLea ColomboTextSusie Lau

The night before the show for most designers is often a stress-filled rampage of fittings, last minute adjustments and a barrage of swear words. As I sauntered into the Mugler offices, I found creative Nicola Formichetti calmly doodling over a brand new Mugler handbag with his Nicopanda characters, which debuted in the show and Sébastien Peigné calmly conducting fittings. They didn't live stream the process this time round but their eagerness to embrace the immediacy of the internet and their fanbase meant that they were working through the night to release animated imagery of the collection before the show on to their Tumblr. This tied in with their Tumblr initiative to invite creatives – photographers, artists, film makers – to come and attend the fittings and the show and get their own individual on the whole Mugler experience. I interviewed an 18 year-old model from Germany, who goes under the name of MarkyMarcFashion on Instagram, and is a super fan of Formichetti – he got the opportunity to attend his first fashion show purely by demonstrating his love of the brand. This sort of democratic embrace has really propelled Mugler as a rejuvenated brand to move forward, and with all that in mind, Formichetti and Peigné came up with their most wearable and street-savvy collection yet. The hum and headlines of cars, sunsets in hot urban settings and the melting pot of oranges, yellows, rusts and petrol blues all melded together into a much younger-skewed collection of sculpted flared-out mini dresses, hard-lined t-shirts, moulded PVC skirts and trousers. The palette particularly came alive on a Mylar-printed top that looked like a exploding sunset. Graphic illustrations of panthers grace wrap tops and lacquered pleated skirts. The Mugler codes of sharp lines and linear movement still remain but Formichetti and Peigné have made them more street-friendly – and that’s the ultimate nod to their fervent fanbase.

Dazed Digital: The Asian influence from last season has definitely carried over but it feels more street appropriate.
Nicola Formichetti:
I wanted to go much more diverse and make stuff for every cool girl. The clothes are much more urban and street. We've done our va-va-vooms and what I learnt was that those clothes were difficult to wear. I'm half-Asian, that's where I live half the time. For me Asian is not a trend, it’s just a way of life. There's such a focus on the area and I wanted to reflect that in the collection with the silhouettes. There are lots of t-shirts done with graphic lines, inspired by 80s Japan with designers like Kansai Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. The colours are inspired by hot cities like Singapore with colours like petrol and yellow. Towards the end we use a lot of elements inspired by Japanese toy cars. It's basically the Far East meets 90s shapes.

DD: Tell us about the new Mugler bags...
Nicola Formichetti:
I wanted to have a sense of new Mugler in the bags so for me it was about the metal hardware contrasted with artisanal leatherwork. I wanted to do something quite classic like a vanity case slash bento box holder. Then the clutch was more of a reference to Mugler archives with the sci-fi UFO-esque shapes. It bridges old Mugler and the new Mugler.

DD: Does this mean that Mugler is evolving?
Nicola Formichetti:
We're gearing up for store launches and we have to start broadening out. This is us and we don't need to look back at the archives all the time. To move forward we need to look back but the most important thing is to be contemporary.