Mugler is ushering in another major moment in the fashion sphere. Instantly recognizable for its striking cutouts and sharp silhouettes, the label’s signature look was updated with an intergalactic flair when creative director Casey Cadwallader took over in 2018. With current it-celebs like Hunter Schafer and Arca gracing their most recent catwalks and campaigns, Mugler remains as omnipresent as ever on red carpets, in magazines, and on concert stages. Thanks to the Mugler x H&M collaboration that drops on May 11, it can soon be in your closet, too.
The collab, announced earlier this year, is trademark Mugler, representing the brand’s playful, yet elevated-chic energy. The collection embodies a modern expression of the house codes for a youthful audience, with spiral multi-seaming seen across nylon and denim pieces. The womenswear styles feature their trademark oversized shoulders and tightly cinched waists, accentuating the body through dramatically angular tailoring. Classic illusion catsuits, leggings, and bodysuits have been reimagined for the Party Girl’s next night out.
The menswear assortment of leather trousers, blazers, and trench coats compliments sculpted denim pieces and corseted mesh tops. An array of gender-fluid accessories, including jewelry, scarves, bags, and sheer gloves and tights, represent the late Thierry Mugler’s career-spanning contribution to dissolving gendered constraints on style and expression. Mugler’s otherworldly aesthetics have always called for a new social order as they embrace freedom of expression in both body and identity.
“This collection is a watershed moment for the house of Mugler – a chance for us to celebrate our history and the pieces that we are beloved for today,” said Casey Cadwallader of Mugler x H&M. Beyond the pieces inspired by Mugler’s modern moment, the collection also features reworked revivals of some of Thierry Mugler’s most iconic designs from the 80s and 90s. These garments, including an acid green tailored jacket and a peachy skirt suit with piercing details, bring back the namesake designer’s splashy businesswear for a new generation.
With the launch set for a few days after the closing of Thierry Mugler: Couturissime at the Brooklyn Museum, it’s evident that Cadwaller wants to honor the legacy of the label’s namesake. However, Mugler as a brand is also evolving to thrive in the modern moment – though it can be said that Thierry Mugler’s eye for futuristic innovation made this possible a long time ago – inspired by the pride and freedom of expression bolstered by queer communities. The H&M campaign casted an array of non-traditional models and musical talents; a star-studded list including Eartheater, Amaarae, and Aweng Chuol, to name a few, embracing traditionally marginalized groups as fundamental to the high fashion world.
These ideals are especially important and impactful for a campaign with H&M, as a collaboration with the retail giant represents a democratization of luxury fashion that aligns with the disruption of barriers to entry into an idealized designer landscape. Just as casting that includes people of various races, ages, and body types challenges the exclusionary nature of high fashion, a collection designed by Mugler that is intended for the everyday H&M shopper shatters the idea that only the affluent should have access to magnificent clothes.
“Casey and the Mugler team have been incredibly generous in offering up so many of the house’s classics and signatures, which shoppers will recognize from the runway and red carpet,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M. “The collection encapsulates the H&M ethos of sharing great fashion and democratizing design. Every piece is an icon.”
For H&M, this is the latest of a series of designer collaborations over the last 20 years that have brought high fashion names to mass markets, including Karl Lagerfeld, Jimmy Choo, Kenzo, and Maison Margiela. Though there’s still a few weeks until the collection drops, shoppers can already peruse the full lookbook.