Thierry Mugler was inclusive before it was a buzzword, casting drag queens to walk alongside supermodels at his runway shows. And Mugler designer Casey Cadwallader has continued the tradition in his work of late, which has taken a sexier and more accessible turn.
With “RuPaul’s Drag Race” phenoms Violet Chachki and Miss Fame rubbing elbows with Tyga and Jourdan Dunn in the front row, Cadwallader presented a spring collection, which — rather than forcing the physique to mold to impossibly narrow corsets (a la Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala) — gently enhanced all sizes, all ages, all gendered wearers including Bella Hadid, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Karen Elson, Lily McMenamy and Anna Cleveland.
“I’m really proud of the cast this season,” the designer said. “It’s really all the types of people that I’m inspired by, and it’s really just about setting off these different characters, and they’re all kind of brought together by this Mugler culture that’s about being open-minded and being confident and really trying to search for your own individuality.”
The lingerie-heavy collection should speak to the Fenty-loving customer, with acid-bright sheer mesh minidresses exposing thong underwear, body suits, shorts and a “Hustlers” wardrobe-worth of hosiery for legs and arms.
“It’s actually all one print that’s patched in different parts,” Cadwallader said of the deep violet, icy blue, red, citron yellow and black dégradé-stripe sheath dresses with slashed details or drop-ruffle skirts, made in “amazing sports stretchy fabric so all women of different sizes can wear them, which is something we’ve been starting to sell lately and it’s working out really well.”
He has loosened up the house tailoring, too. The signature Mugler blazers now are shaped by athletic mesh middles, or cut drapey and oversize over tube skirts or bodysuits. Trousers are designed to lift and shape and zipped spiral denim to flatter. Laced knifepoint strappy heels on men and women completed the seduction toolkit.
“It’s also a very sexy collection,” Cadwallader said. “I’ve been thinking a lot about my responsibility as a person to make people feel good and I really want these clothes to be, if you want to expose yourself, you can — I have all these shapewear pieces that are in transparent [fabrics] that really work on all different types of bodies, and then I also have tailoring and skirts that are quite shrouded and covered, and I think it’s about this ability to sort of conceal or expose, and to really kind of work with identity in a very Mugler way.”