Spanning about 30 models, the debut collection includes structured, ladylike day bags, weaponlike evening clutches and an “easy and cool sports line,” according to Formichetti, who slots the style based on Gaga’s assets in the latter category. “She doesn’t know yet,” he demurred in a recent interview.
Formichetti also confessed he’s an unlikely leather goods designer, nonplussed and mystified by the handbag craze that has gripped the industry for years. Answering demand from Mugler’s ready-to-wear clients — and women in the fast-moving digital and pop culture universes he orbits — he took the plunge.
“Now I’m completely obsessed,” he confessed. “You can really tell a lot about people from their bags.”
Formichetti noted he had little archive material upon which to draw. The few “vanity cases” created by house founder Thierry Mugler were designed for the runway only.
No matter. The brand’s legacy — futuristic, powerful and even robotic women — offers rich references, reflected in hardware that resembles animal claws, piercings and industrial machinery. Glossy leather etched with a mesh pattern further enhance the look of tomorrow.
“It’s a little dangerous feeling, but I didn’t want to go too far out with designs — yet,” Formichetti said with a conspiratorial laugh. “It has a little bit of a punk rock feeling, but it’s still quite chic.”
Shapes include an elongated vanity case called Agent 10 and an aerodynamic Naboo clutch in metallic lizard skin. Retail prices are to range from about 700 euros to 1,200 euros, or $900 to $1,550 at current exchange rates.
“It’s so cute, I would totally wear this,” Formichetti said, slinging a small postman style over his head and positioning it on his hip. “I want that size and I want to graffiti everything.”
Formichetti characterized the bag venture as another signpost of maturity for the brand, which stormed onto the fashion scene with tattooed zombie models, a turn by Gaga on the catwalks and an online onslaught.
“The first year I wanted to scream and tell everyone ‘we’re here’ with the digital,” he said, alluding to studio cams, crowd sourcing, live-streaming and such. “Now we want everyone to look at the clothes and wear them because they’re f---ing amazing!”
Mugler is also planning its first fashion ad campaign for spring, which will help introduce the accessories. About 50 retailers worldwide carry Mugler women’s wear.
Next up: Formichetti plans to introduce a range of leather goods for men.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)