PARIS -- Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga’s stylist extraordinaire and creative director of the house of Thierry Mugler (now known simply as Mugler) showed his spring-summer 2013 collection at Paris architecture museum Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine on Wednesday night. Though Gaga was not in the house (she is on tour, and was performing in Zurich), she did send along a gift — a new, unreleased single for the soundtrack. Titled “Cake,” the track is Gaga’s first rap song. A video of the collection featuring the new Gaga song will be released Thursday. The show closed with the hit “Esta Noche” courtesy of Azealea Banks, who was sitting front row.
The inspiration: Make that inspirations. It started with travel, which Formichetti does a lot. (“From the humid buzz of Mexico City to the jungles of South East Asia”… and the “artisanal savoir faire of the Far East,” the news release explained.) There was also mention of Guy Bourdin photos, “the robed costume of the Noh school of theatre” and the lacquered sets in Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai’s “In The Mood for Love.” Somehow, it all made sense when you saw the collection, which was designed by Formichetti and Sebastian Peigne.
The look: Sexy, sculptural, Far East-inspired. Scuba knit dresses with full skirts, some with shiny, plastified horizontal pleats. Crisp blouses with lantern sleeves worn over slick leather pants or miniskirts. Ink printed mylar T-shirts in color block designs evoking a sunset. Formichetti also debuted his first handbags, which will be in stores in January, including a faux tortoiseshell clutch.
The scene: Banks, Anna Dello Russo and other fashion scenesters dressed in skin-tight Mugler dresses with protruding peplums.
The verdict: The most wearable Mugler collection yet. Gaga’s voice may have been on the soundtrack, but as a muse, she did not loom over this collection like she has the others. The flashy 1980s archives were also left behind, all of which suggests that Formichetti’s Mugler is on its way to developing an identity all its own.