MUGLER’S DOMINATRIX CHIC

PARIS — Thierry Mugler is seeing triple. In addition to his ready-to-wear collection and bridge line, the designer has just launched a third line, Thierry Mugler Trademark, or TMT. The sporty, 90-piece collection will officially debut for fall, after a mini-test for spring. Mugler president Didier Grumbach explained that the collection is intended to appeal to a new, younger customer. He also noted that current clients had been buying jeans and T-shirts to wear with items from the more expensive lines, and he said the house wanted to offer its own brand of basics.
But Mugler is a designer who can’t help putting his own spin on things. TMT may have plenty of simple pieces, including belted trenchcoats and cropped jackets worn with dresses, but jeans are cut in glistening stretch vinyl, while his signature curvy, cropped jackets come in a blend of polyamide and polyester he calls “aluminum taffeta.”
Wholesale prices in France for jackets range from about $120 to $180; for skirts, $50 to $70. Coats start at around $200. In the U.S., only retailers who carry Mugler’s top two lines, Thierry Mugler and Mugler, will be allowed to carry TMT for the time being. The test collection is currently being sold in some Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom stores.
Meanwhile, the fall Thierry Mugler collection, presented in a series of small showroom presentations that run through Wednesday, could have been called “Dominatrix Chic.” Out marched the latest Mugler models in black vinyl jodhpurs worn with the sharpest of tailored jackets in wool, cashmere or velvet. The designer also showed a festive touch with a series of flared jumpsuits in candy-color combinations, such as turquoise, aqua and orange, that could have come straight out of “Casino.”
And with most of the models wielding riding crops or menacing jeweled canes, these are ladies you wouldn’t want to push around — which is exactly the way Mugler wants it.

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