Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
PARIS–One of the greatest things about fashion in the digital age is a designer’s ability to use images and ideas to encapsulate the reality of his or her clothes.
At last night’s second showing of the Mugler men’s spring collection in the vast hall of the Galérie de Mineralogie, creative director Nicola Formichetti gave a straightforward explanation in his press notes, which were placed inside a 4×6 black and white catalog entitled Brothers of Arcadia.
“I was interested in the idea of fantasy, dreams, and voyeurism. I also like the idea of modern and ancient myths. So I suppose this project is a combination of the two things: there are surfers, footballers, porn stars and classical gods all rolled into one here.”
Prior to last night’s show, Mr. Formichetti released a short black and white film by photographer Branislav Jankic with exclusive music by the band Jessica 6, featuring the models Travis Cannata, Matthieu Charneau, and Justin Barnhill. It depicts muscular men frolicking in black underwear on a beach, wrestling each other or shaving one another, as well as a staged Cleopatra scene on a bed with Jessica 6 singer Nomi Ruiz.
An uncensored version debuted on user generated porn site XTube today. It pay tribute to fashion’s endless robbery of gay porn and its ideals of masculinity since the 1970s. (Watch it here.)
It’s not hard to imagine that a relaunch of Mugler fashion was meant to pay tribute to Thierry Mugler’s own images from his many ad campaigns in the ‘90s, when he staged sculpted silhouettes against giant monuments like the Grand Palais in Paris, the sand dunes of the Sahara desert, or along Communist statues in central Moscow.
As the first model emerged wearing cotton ecru denim pants and black lace-up leather shoes–with shining golden metal medieval armor sleeve plates, a necklace, waist belt and visor to enhance his muscular torso–we immediately saw some of the most wearable pieces from this show: Color denim shorts, washed denim jackets and jeans; denim hot pants, sweatshirt jacket and pants, washed cotton hoodies, and a slim light purple single breasted suit (which was available at the showroom in multiple color and fabric choices).
Perhaps at times the clothes don’t match the valor of the poetic words bestowed on them. Some of the looks–like an ecru transparent long blouse over knee-length stretch cotton shorts, a green beaded bolero sleeve and black leather hot pants, as well as an orange stretch lycra tee-shirt and biker shorts–recalled lead designer Romain Kremer’s own collections. Among the similarities was his propensity to mix transparent and opaque fabrics–the sheer nylon holding the two halves of a single-breasted jacket–in one garment.
Provocations aside, whether on film or on runway, the show was grounded in reality–see the commercial viability of the new swim line. After all, in today’s fashion, it really does take an Olympian god to sell a pair of stretch lycra bikini briefs.
**Photos by Imaxtree