THE SUCCESS of Casey Cadwallader’s tenure at Mugler is unwavering. If anything it is just skyrocketing. His decision to present collections virtually has been genius, and now, unveiling the spring-summer 2022 collection via video – again – may have seemed mundane but it is everything but that.
Breaking the fourth wall in his third instalment of this trilogy of digital shows, the creative director hired Torso Solutions to director the video. Taking elements of the previous two and pushing them to new extremes in this episode, time and space are explored further as the cinematic license held by the filmmaker was enriched with pure creative freedom.
Contrasting studio with sets, and white cubes with the streets of the city, the energy of the cast outweighed its surroundings as the line-up included some of fashion’s favourites.
Spanning scenes of Chloë Sevigny strutting in New York, supermodels Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta kissing on top of a limousine to Megan Thee Stallion on a billboard and Bella Hadid morphing into two versions of herself.
Centred around the Mugler shapewear silhouettes, the 360º insight follows the evolution of this now synonymous design as it transforms from its original form into denim and then into eveningwear. Punctuated by flashes of skin, the usual monochromes are juxtaposed by waves of ombré as orchid pinks and purples encompass the body along with vermilion and coral.
Debuting a new design into his repertoire, Cadwallader showcases the new dégradé Hoochie dress that drapes across the body to inject a new element of sex appeal to his clothes. Corsets, structured busts and gloved sleeves all re-enter Mugler this season on a plethora of bodies showcasing not only the beauty of true diversity, but emphasising the message that Mugler is made to be worn by all and not the few.
The final part of this spectacle pays homage to the late Manfred Thierry Mugler, the founder of the brand, as an archival piece from his Haute Couture SS1998 collection is revived on prima ballerina Maria Kochetkova and vogueing professional Barbie Swaee.
Flipping between classical dance and the 90s ballroom culture, the two differing forms of movement represent the duality of the French label and its ongoing ethos of acceptance, making a truly powerful ending to an already all-encompassing video.
The mind-bending film made traditional shows look outdated and its cast was proof that what Cadwallader is doing at the House transgresses the fashion industry entirely, putting him into a new realm light years ahead of his contemporaries.
by Imogen Clark