Amidst All the Digital Tricks, Are Designers Forgetting the Clothes?

Mugler Spring 2012

One of many beige looks from Thierry Mugler’s Spring 2012 show.

After opening a pop-up shop in downtown New York, working with a gaming company to make a 3D avatar of his muse, the tattooed model Zombie Boy, and kicking off his Paris Fashion Week show with a video featuring Lady Gaga, the reviews of Nicola Formichetti’s latest collection for Thierry Mugler were…disappointing.

Is the lesson here that designers, co-opting technology and retail trends, need to remember not to forget about their actual clothes?  Formidable fashion critic Suzy Menkes used the damning word “dull” to describe Formichetti’s latest effort.  The irony here is that all of the creative director’s other recent endeavors, off the runway, have been well-received and anything but dull.

So, what’s the lesson?  Perhaps Formichetti will bring back Gaga, his other muse, for a repeat live runway strut at another show.  Or maybe next season we’ll just see fewer avatars, with more fashion-focused innovation.

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