English Version | Angels and Demons

05 May 2023
By Vogue Portugal

It’s the name behind the iconic Angel perfume as well as the designer responsible for the sensuality of the lines that draw the female figure in such a sinful way that it is almost impossible not to fall into temptation. It is from this duality, in which the delicate meets the sinful, that Mugler is made. One that continues in the designer collaboration with H&M.

It’s the name behind the iconic Angel perfume as well as the designer responsible for the sensuality of the lines that draw the female figure in such a sinful way that it is almost impossible not to fall into temptation. It is from this duality, in which the delicate meets the sinful, that Mugler is made. One that continues in the designer collaboration with H&M.

To speak of Mugler in an issue dedicated to hedonism is almost a pleonasm. In fact, in February this year, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Angel fragrance (1992), the house launched a collection of 300 NFTs entitled We Are All Angels, divided into 30 small collections of “angels”, one of which is named The Hedonists. Coincidence? We think not. That's why realizing that, in the same month that this issue hits newsstands, the French brand's collaboration with the Swedish house also hits the stores is something close to mythical. A cosmic serendipity that translates into a silhouette in a combination that is a pleasure: that of sexy and femininity. To think of Mugler is to think of slinky figures that awaken anyone's libidinous side. It is also thinking about everyday life full of minimalist opulence, with defined waists and broad shoulders, the power dressing that made Thierry Mugler (1948-2022) and his homonymous brand (established in 1973) forever a force in Fashion History, still influencing others with these iconic architectural details, those small (big) details that he was known for. He imagined emblematic costumes for names like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Beyoncé or Lady Gaga; his was the famous Demi Moore dress in Indecent Proposal (1993); and he was also a pioneer in inclusion and gender fluidity, addressing issues such as racism and age discrimination, placing all kinds of models on the catwalk, from trans to drag queens and even pornography stars, long before the globalization of the movement, long before the mass communication brought by social networks. Traits that last until today and which are being underlined by the house's new partnership, through the creative mind of its artistic director, Casey Cadwallader (alongside his counterpart at H&M, Ann-Sofie Johansson).

The novelty, which arrives in selected stores and online on May 11, respects, in the selection of proposals, this inherent sensuality of the maison, presenting masculine and feminine looks, without undermining the idea of fluid and cross-gender style that has always supported the ethos Mugler. In a collection dominated by black, there is room for denim, leather, and even neons, pinks and blues, which encapsulate the “unique and vibrant spirit of the brand”, communicates H&M. The wide shoulders don't let the name on the label lie, nor the strategically thought out cuts, which intersperse transparencies with opaque ones, in bodysuits that leave little to the imagination. There are leather trench-coats that are bound to be a bestseller, as well as wide trousers that are the archetype of cool and relaxed, in a duality between the sexy and the streetwear that could only scream Mugler - now also designed for an H&M audience. The hems are kept as short as possible, the asymmetries ensure the sophistication and pleasure of those who wear these looks and those who see them from the outside, and ensure the success of this designer collaboration. In the menswear range, there is attention to the codes of bespoke tailoring, for the best fit in order to accentuate the physique, but also transparencies here and there that continue the patent guidelines in the womenswear section. There are also unisex accessories, ranging from handbags to earrings and gloves, which are not only a tribute to the iconic designer, but also include icons of the house, such as the Mugler star. For this tribute alone, faithful to Thierry's legacy and Cadwallader's contribution (at Mugler since 2018), any fan of the French creator would already have reason to applaud. But Casey wanted more: “This collection is a turning point for the House of Mugler – an opportunity for us to celebrate history and the pieces we are applauded for today. The collaboration includes many of our signature elements, from catsuits to body-conscious dresses, tailoring, denim and bold and beautiful jewelry and accessories”, assures the artistic director, who went even further in this celebration. Cadwallader includes, in this capsule, a revival of the house's archives in a selection of pieces that borrowed from the brand's hits from the 80s and 90s, such as: a dress in velvet with a defined waist and balloon sleeves, a corset dress in lace, a suit with a skirt adorned with piercings and a belted coat in acid green. In the accessories in this selection from the archives, you will also find boomerang-shaped earrings and a double safety pin connected by a chain.

The spirit of Thierry Mugler does not end with the threads that sew these H&M pieces together, which promise to go down in history: the entire philosophy surrounding the campaign, lookbook and presentation of the clothes is a testament to the designer's style book, which is usually greater than the sketches in his sketchbook, since his design overflows de pages with the diversity of models with different sizes, ages, backgrounds and contexts and that have always been part of the brand's close circle over the years (and still today). Diversity that arises naturally with the casting that composes the images for the dissemination of the collection. Photographed by Lengua and styled by Haley Wollens, the catalog features a variety of faces from fashion icons to musical talents. Top models like Mariacarla Boscono, Anna Ewers, Ariish Wol, Sora Choi, Imaan Hammam, Lidia Judickaite, Yilan Hua, Selena Forrest, Aweng Chuol, Xu Meen, Luthando Ngema, Cheikh Diakhate and Fernando Lindez star alongside actresses like Connie Fleming, singers like Amaarae and Arca, singer-songwriters like Eartheater and, serving as icing on the cake, the fashion icon that needs no introduction, Jerry Hall.

But what most makes this partnership a reflection of the name chosen to be the Swedish house's plus one this year is the freedom of expression inherent in each topstitching of any blazer, dress, trousers... There's nothing more Mugler (and H&M) than encouraging the expression of one's own personality through wardrobe. Maybe that's why the end result has so many pieces that don't hide anything from the silhouette, but reveal a whole stance. Maybe that's why we also play around with denim volumes, which are both street and sophisticated. Maybe that's why broad shoulders are balanced with thin waists, to enforce the symbiotic dichotomy of power with the delicate. Maybe that's why there's so much hedonism when talking about Mugler: because there's no greater pleasure than being comfortable in your own skin. And this is something that Thierry, and now Cadwalleder (at the brand and in the joint venture with H&M), always shouted about, without even saying it: in the castings for their collections, in the boldness of their designs that hide and reveal everything and nothing all at once, in pieces that have a signature, but that are as versatile as the differences that unite those who wear them. 

Originally translated from Vogue Portugal's The Pleasure Issue, published may 2023.Full stories and credits on the print issue.

Vogue Portugal By Vogue Portugal

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