The guest list was small (200 people). The collection was concise (27 looks). And the designer making his runway debut was a relative unknown: Casey Cadwallader, who worked behind the scenes at Acne Studios before taking the helm of Mugler last year. So what was Cardi B, a one-woman celebrity tsunami, doing in the front row?

There’s no denying that since showing a handful of looks in an intimate presentation with editors in New York in May, Cadwallader has brought Mugler back into the public conversation in a way that it hadn’t been since Lady Gaga walked for the brand back in 2011, when Nicola Formichetti was creative director.

Gigi and Bella Hadid wore Cadwallader’s designs: Gigi looking demure in a bubblegum pink jersey dress with drawstring details, Bella in bionic Barbie mode at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party at New York Fashion Week — her corseted nude jumpsuit sadly overshadowed by Cardi B’s now-infamous clash with Nicki Minaj.

Both extremes were on show in his spring collection, which offered a distillation of the building blocks the designer is laying at the house.

He reeled them off backstage: sculptural tailoring, as seen in the black jacket with spiral seams that opened the show; corsetry, by way of stretchy athletic waistbands, hook-and-eye bodysuits and cycling shorts with lacing details; fluidity, with sheer jersey or crepe de chine dresses, including one in signature Mugler celestial blue, and an art dimension, via a collaboration with British artist Samara Scott.

The latter pieces were visually captivating, though conceptual at best. One model wore a marbled red top and cycling shorts made from pigments mixed with latex cast on glass. A tailored PVC coat featured inclusions of “chain clippings, jewelry, cigarettes, sweet wrappers, painkillers, chewing gum, kleenex, orange peel” and oodles of other odd ingredients, per the show notes.

A more realistic alternative was a blurry print silk nylon skirt, gathered over one hip, worn with a hook-and-eye bodysuit and mesh corset belt. Spiral-seam jeans, body-con dresses and big-shouldered jackets made for a strong commercial foundation.

“For me, Mugler is for everyone, and I think if someone who is a superstar wants to flaunt and make a really big statement, Mugler should be there for them, but then on the total other side, I want to make women comfortable and feel great in their own skin in jeans and a T-shirt,” Cadwallader said.

Cardi B’s bethonged derrière may have got the cameras flashing, but his designs had plenty of wattage on their own.

By  on September 26, 2018

The guest list was small (200 people). The collection was concise (27 looks). And the designer making his runway debut was a relative unknown: Casey Cadwallader, who worked behind the scenes at Acne Studios before taking the helm of Mugler last year. So what was Cardi B, a one-woman celebrity tsunami, doing in the front row?

There’s no denying that since showing a handful of looks in an intimate presentation with editors in New York in May, Cadwallader has brought Mugler back into the public conversation in a way that it hadn’t been since Lady Gaga walked for the brand back in 2011, when Nicola Formichetti was creative director.

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