Charging Through the Cosmos, Mugler Returns in Full Force

After a two-year run of fashion film extravaganzas, Cadwallader disintegrates the threshold between the Mugler of the stage and the metaverse.

In a cyborg of a fashion show, models charge down the runway at lightspeed. Satisfying cravings for adrenaline amongst attendees of this season’s Haute Couture Fashion Week, it is evident Mugler is back—and in full force. 

Before yesterday’s show, the Paris-based fashion house had yet to present a collection in person since the emergence of the pandemic. After a two-year run of fashion film extravaganzas, Creative Director, Casey Cadwallader disintegrates the threshold between the Mugler of the stage and the metaverse. Creating a spectacle with all the glitz and glory etched into the household name, the iconic brand presents its ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2023 collection. 

Fearless, never restrained, the Mugler woman returns to the runway to reclaim her domain on a chariot drawn by her male courtiers. 

Courtesy of Mugler

In its last chapter, the house served up a dimension traversing fashion film encased in a shiny Los Angeles coating. Bare bums peeked out of high-rise skinny jeans and tights, kicking subtlety to the curb. Tailored collages of denim, sheer fabric, and nude textiles enhanced the female form in asymmetrical compositions. Hoop earrings so large they carry their own gravitational orbit encaged the shoulders of models as they stomped throughout the deserted streets of Hollywood.

Introducing vivacious hues into the collection, scarlet, indigo, and phosphorescent yellow permeated through the dark matrix characteristic of the house in gradient fabrics. 

The extraterrestrial mystique of the Mugler woman was explored through the lens of the camera. Sensory overload took hold of viewers as strobing images of Mugler’s muses diffracted throughout an ever-morphing landscape. 

With its Fall/Winter 2023 presentation, the house expands on its investigation of voyeurism as a transformative element of how fashion is consumed today. Cameras loaded on a moving stand capture models from varying angles as they are launched onto the runway. Within its first few seconds, it is evident Mugler is sending its first runway show of the decade out with a bang.  

With the exception of pops of cherry red and white, the American Creative Director and his team return to decadent dark hues this season. Through the vessel of texture, soft translucent materials are contrasted against those of rigid endurance; juxtaposing vulnerability and strength, the collection conveys a duplexity of the female experience in today’s world. 

Through curvilinear corsetry, Cadwallader expands on the house’s signature silhouette. Taking its futuristic ethos to the next level, it wields contrast and cut to evolve the female form to new proportions. Evocative of Giger’s Biomechanical, look one unites the alien and the celestial being. A jagged armor of shiny cold metal clashes against smooth, curving leather panels slicing the contours of its bust. As our gaze shifts downwards, leather chaps parachute in voluminous folds from high-waisted shorts. 

Courtesy of Mugler

Having studied architecture, prefacing his debut in fashion, Casey Cadwallader demonstrates his keen eye for structure through erogenous sculpting. Directional lines surge in mesmerizing curves as his latest endeavors encase the female form in a second skin of sheer seduction.  

Lace trimmings proliferate amongst the runway in a striking discord between modern and classic notions of sensuality. Illustrating this contemporaneous rendition, look four, a lace-paneled body-con mini dress, propels through beaming lights.

At first glance, a lace-trimmed, little black dress may hardly seem innovative; a closer look will reveal its tact lies within its structure. Expanding from a black, high-rise neck, lace trimmings frame the chest, shoulders, ribs, and hips—all curving points of the figure. Such precision in accentuating demonstrates the house’s superb understanding of the human anatomy. Leather opera-length gloves inject a charged-up futuristic fantasy into the classic look with zipper detailing unfolding them into a silhouette of expansive volume. 

Courtesy of Mugler

Fusing his American heritage into the compound of the Mugler elixir, Cadwallader continues to evolve his exploration of denim with the experimental spirit at Mugler. Corseted denim trousers—that expand as they descend—and an asymmetrical micro skirt introduce a dynamic departure from last season’s airtight denim. 

Imbuing strength and an aggressive edge into the collection, accessories emulate thorns, twisting spikes, and razor-sharp blades. Knife-point pumps and armored sandals imply the Mugler woman is a force to be reckoned with. 

Its emerging collection also showcases a scarce but memorable selection of menswear, demonstrating the house’s ability to expand its design philosophy to the male form. One boned biker jacket in look 28 strengthens the chest while narrowing the waist with undulating lines. Another noteworthy mention takes shape in a pair of ballooning leather trousers in look 27. 

Courtesy of Mugler

Since Mugler’s genesis, its late founder sought to empower its wearers through tailored excellence. Enveloping the figure with an armor of indestructible confidence, Casey Cadwallader summons the spirit of his predecessor. Using tradition as a blueprint for innovation, Mugler’s latest collection is a harbinger of what fashion—as a form and ritual—will advance to as it launches into the future. 

The Mugler mantra of unapologetic individuality proves to be defiant of time. By having its wearers define its clothes, the house continues to pulverize the notion that fashion should homogenize; rather, it asserts that clothing should frame the essence of those who wear it. 

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