Mugler designer Casey Cadwallader applied his body-contouring skills to the leather dressing trend, in an effort to broaden the brand beyond the athletic-mesh-paneled tailoring, sexy lingerie and hosiery for which it’s become known under his two year-tenure.
“Last season was so much about exposing the body and curves and using a cast diverse in sizes and ages,” he said backstage. “For fall, I wanted to play with more layers and volume and outerwear, but still with peeks of lingerie underneath.”
The results were mixed. Low-slung leather trousers with bust-contouring leather bodysuits, asymmetric leather trench jackets and an oversize shearling bomber looked thick and unwieldy, while some of the hourglass tailoring could have flattered and fit better and looked more expensive.
More refined were buttery draped leather pieces that channeled the house’s sexy spirit into easier silhouettes, as on a caramel-colored leather, asymmetric zip-front dress, slit over one thigh, with an intriguing leather garter attached to a stocking. Wonder which Hollywood celeb will get to that one first?
The designer aimed to provoke with bare cheeks and breasts, but sometimes the effect was raunchy. Then again, there are plenty (both famous and not) who crave exhibitionism. (See last spring’s Buttchella.) A more interesting way to uncover though, were with the cool tromp l’oeil, tattoo-like hosiery gowns, worn by several sizes of models, including Bella Hadid.
Cadwallader is already looking ahead to October, when the “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” retrospective will arrive in Paris, putting the spotlight on the house history. “I have seen it already in three cities, and I have it programmed in my head. It resonates with me constantly when I’m trying to create,” he said, noting the decadence. “It’s like my entire budget in a single dress,” he said of Mugler’s original work. “He was so lucky that guy.”