H&M designer collaborations have had the internet on a chokehold for more than two decades. And now, the Mugler X H&M capsule collection has brought an everyday essence that's striking and bold.
By: LF Correspondent
Posted on: May 15, 2023
Take any industry, and you’ll find that the trend of collaborations continues to be a rage. And, H&M, like always, aces fashion collaborations. In modern terms, it is internet-breaking every time they drop a new designer-collab collection. Collaborating with legendary designers such as Karl Lagerfeld in 2004 laid the groundwork for their collaborations to succeed commercially.
This year, the hype was different. They collaborated with the legendary house of Thierry Mugler, now currently led by creative director Casey Cadwallader. For those who love Mugler's edgy and powerful designs with bold shoulders, sharp hemlines, and tiny waistlines, we bet you queued overnight outside their store or were already glued to their website.
For the past 20 years, H&M’s designer collaborations have welcomed high-fashion names to the mass market. Where once it was seen as a career suicide to collaborate with a mass market brand, it’s become a necessity to survive and connect with younger fashionistas. However, there’s a question that always persists: does the collection measure up in reality?
Edgy, high-voltage designs & drama
Ask any fashion enthusiast, Mugler’s futuristic creations transformed women into supervixens – designs that made the wearers embrace their femme fatales. On February 23, 2023, when H&M and Mugler announced their design partnership, the fashion crowd was hyped about it.
To promote its upcoming collection, H&M and Mugler dropped a new teaser music video, featuring a slew of talents like Amaarae, Shygirl, Eartheater, and Arca, recording their own version of Stardust’s 1998 “Music Sounds Better With You.” The edge, the seduction, and the punk aesthetics – everything encapsulated the very essence of Mugler.
So when it came to a designer who led the power of glamour, designed works of art, and sculptures to be donned by divas, goddesses and primadonnas, and now to have resembled the same in high-fashion wearables, H&M really had to step up their game!
As part of a media preview in New Delhi, this exclusive collection made its debut in India on May 10. And it didn’t disappoint much. Think mesh bodysuits, pumped-up shoulder pads, sculptural minidresses and corseted tops. Mugler and Mr. Cadwallader’s design flavours really came through.
There were alluring cutouts, playful flashes of colour, and corsetry (a lot, actually!) Standouts included a pink body-con minidress with a cutout wrap effect down the bodice, a knotted sash at the neck and hip, and a single gloved sleeve; an off-the-shoulder bodysuit with a cutout teamed with a micro miniskirt and seam-stitched sheer tights; and a mesh-panelled corset and the spiral-panel denims. The accessories ranged from opera gloves and sheer tights to earrings bearing the signature Mugler star.
For true lovers of the Mugler house, a two-piece power suit with metallic details: from chain fastening and the asymmetric neckline, to scooped-in waist and pointed pockets was an it-piece pick.
Trend-wise, the H&M X Mugler collection was spot-on as customers edge towards fitted silhouettes, bodysuits and sheer glamor. Think the recent collections from Emilio Pucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Shape is indeed back in business!
Acing Mugler’s craftsmanship?
Now, do the pieces carry enough weight to reflect its craftsmanship?
To begin with, we were impressed, and perhaps even a bit startled. When the Mugler collaboration was first announced, many were reluctant to the idea, considering the designs by the legendary designer are extremely intricate and would be hard to emulate to H&M’s style. But these designs seemed to scream Mugler.
Design-wise, most of them were not watered down. With the brand’s DNA still shining through, the corseted, strong shoulder suit jacket and the panelled bodysuits justified Mr. Cadwallader’s designs that he is known for. However, some pieces did look ordinary even with the cut-out detailing.
With the trend of corsets really coming through, these ones leave you really impressed by the sturdy construction: from the paneled midsection to the uplifting bust-lines.
Talking about the confines of high-fashion fabrics and construction, it did fall flat. Moreover, some of the clothes had some unexpected weightiness, making them comfortable to don and step out. Some of them looked flimsy as they hung on the rails.
However, some pieces came up a bit small, especially the more fitted, corseted ones, which is a good thing if you're trying to slim your waist; however, people with larger busts or curvier arms may want to size up.
Although the fabrics used didn't impress as much as the designs (it’s a fast fashion collection essentially), the collection was highly hyped with Internet influencers and even celebrities wearing them out and about.
Well, the collection finally hit on May 11. Of course, it was quick to sell out, in a matter of minutes!