Mugler’s latest film—and collection reveal—is homage to not just the brand’s sharp and body-defining silhouettes, but the nothingness within them too. Excited?
Are we jelak of fashion films yet? Especially inane ones? Apparently not. Mugler has released a film of its spring/summer 2022 season, in lieu of an IRL runway show, with content that would once only be watched on a Saturday night, alone. But this is apparently not smutty, even when designer Casey Cadwallader has admitted to the media that it’s “the most bare collection” he has ever put out. And are we not also jelak of the bare, especially buttocks? Apparently not. Mr Cadwallader has enlisted some of the most recognisable names in music, film, and fashion to help him sell the nothing-quite-there looks, many proudly exposing the area of a woman’s body with a high concentration of adipose tissue, self-slapping included. It is hard to deny that the clothes and the presentation are not hyper-sexualised. Twerking as if a foreplay? Check. Cavorting atop a limousine? Check. Girl-with-girl lip lock? CHECK!
Is it a wonder that the video has gone viral, and clocked 587K views and 1.9K comments in four days since its release? And, manically discussed online, and prompted an editorial “conversation” by The New York Times? The paper called the online reaction “either enthusiastic or overwrought, depending on your point of view”. That the near-dominatrix, for-extreme-sex wear on women who have no objections to putting on as little clothes as possible should garner so much passionate reactions is, to us, more amusing than the rattle-no-ground film. Megan Thee Stallion doing an erotic dance (and slapping her backside [above]) is understandable. Bella Hadid trying a similar, too, is not hard to comprehend. Lourdes Leon mounting that limousine (below) not unexpected. But Chloë Sevigny’ getting into the act (wearing more than the others)—that’s rather curious. Ms Sevigny is an eternal muse to designers. Or, as NYT’s Guy Trebay calls her, “the patron saint of gay designers”. Does she need this to augment her fashion cred?
Even former supermodels are in the act: Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta, two that Tyra Banks would call “high fashion girls” (a category Ms Banks does not consider herself to belong). Ms Harlow, half-baked in a strappy corset, operates a massive camera in the film (which includes scenes that appear to be shot in a studio lot) and Ms Valletta, in a one-shoulder-slashed mini-dress, plays a sort of grip, pushing the vehicle on which the camera is anchored. Both, not prancing and emoting like the rest, appear less sexy too. Nevertheless, is it possible that women filming other women in overtly-arousing prancing, as well as two smooching are not sexploitative?
More and more, the fashion world is visible with those for whom clothes that cover are totally redundant. This is the era of OnlyFans and the likes of Ms Puiyi, the Malaysian OF star with a Penthouse cover to her résumé. They worship at the Altar of How I Can Be Naked Next. Much of the clothes are not mere body-con outfits; they are pieces of fabrics moulded on the body, with the strategic parts left exposed. It is possibly not easy to design with such gaps unfilled. But how do all these clothes really differentiate from, say, Alexander Wang? Or, those on the now canned Victoria’s Secret shows, presently replaced by the steamy presentations of Fenty X Savage? The only thing not seductive in the Mugler film is the use of hooped earrings the size of hula hoops! They are so huge, the women have to have them dangling ungainly from their ears, with the thin circular bands under their arms and pits. How sexy is that?
Screen shots: Mugler/Youtube