Thierry Mugler and Gareth Pugh: both labels I approve of for their habit of making things that look like they belong in an overbudgeted Philip K. Dick adaptation. Mugler is more established, now run by Nicola Formichetti (known for his work with Lady Gaga, although her only appearance this season was in a rather pointless video) but most famous for Thierry's own dramatic corset designs. Pugh is a young English designer, computer-literate enough -- unlike much of the fashion world -- to publicise his collections online using stylish videos like this rather than waiting for magazines to publish catwalk photos two months later. Which is a good thing, since his designs often need to be seen in motion to be properly appreciated, and may not appeal to the middle-aged fashion buyer market courted by, say, Chanel or Valentino.
This is probably obvious already, but I adore Gareth Pugh. Past works include: inflatable plastic-foil capes (N.B. watch that video, it's brilliant), black-and-white evil chessboard outfits, and a whole myriad of post-apocalyptic warrior/mutant/dominatrix costumes.
|(All full-length images from Style.com)|
Pugh and his collaborator, Ruth Hogden (creator of Pugh's badass cyberpunk-ish video art) couldn't seem to agree on what this show is about. Pugh says it was inspired by a 16th century diptych depicting Judith with the head of Holofernes, and Lucretia doing... IDK, something else virgin/whore-ish. According to Hogden the runway show tells the tale of an imprisoned woman finding inner strength and transforming into an insectoid space-queen (or something).
|This photo one was from NYmag.com!|
|THE INSECTOID QUEEN APPEARS.|
I do like to see the return of Pugh's eminently wearable plastic all-over head coverings. :D
Rating: 6/10 for Pugh-ish ridiculousness; 6/10 overall.
Mugler's Spring 2012 collection seemed to me like a toned-down sequel to the Gaga-modelled show last season. "Toned-down" isn't something I expect from Mugler, but this is a ready-to-wear show, and since this is only Formichetti's second season as head of house he may be playing it safe. My main criticism would be that there's no distinctive theme or standout item from this show, meaning that by Mugler standards it was more or less a nonentity.
|More Tattooine chic than Darth Vader.|
|There's something to be said for this kind of calm precision, though.|
Rating: 4/10 for Muglerishness; 6/10 overall. (7/10 if the exact same clothes had been produced by Calvin Klein, who is obsessed with neutral tones like this but has lost the ability create anything remotely interesting.)