This pre-fall 2024 Mugler lineup features Casey Cadwallader’s first formal men’s offering for the house. You may recall that his H&M x Mugler capsule featured men’s looks, and if you’ve seen the designer out and about IRL or URL (on Instagram, that is), you might have noticed he’s been his very own test subject. “Before, men’s was a bit of a naughty side-piece for me where I’d just put a couple of men on the runway,” he said, “but now it’s real. We have men’s buyers, style numbers, the whole thing.”
In a way, Mugler men’s was already a thing. Cadwallader has expressed in the past that his fitting and creative process are fluid when it comes to who-wears-what. “The fit of the women’s baggy jeans came from a men’s fit, so it was easy to put them back on a man,” he said, and many of his tailored women’s jackets are cut with men’s proportions. “They only look authentically menswear-ish when they fit a man well, so I’d try them on myself regardless as we fit them.” All this said, the retail end of the industry still operates according to a binary system. Offering menswear formally allows Mugler to finesse the fit and sizing of the pieces that men (et al) were already buying from the women’s racks.
This is also the first pre-collection Mugler has released since resort 2021. The brand was exploring a see-now, buy-now format, which it has moved on from with the arrival of Adrian Corsin as managing director last May. This is the second pre-collection Cadwallader has worked on since that appointment, and the first released publicly on this platform.
Now you’re all caught up, so let’s get to the clothes. “I don’t want anything for Mugler to be dry, even a pre-collection,” Cadwallader said. The way he kept things juicy here was fabrication. A slouchy suit in Japanese moire velvet, an alluringly slinky mesh dress with flocked velvet tiles, a sexy sheath with laser cut leather feathering, and an extremely cool and very slick coat in “ultrasonic welded rubber” were all in the mix. “It still has to be decadent,” Cadwallader said.
The lineup’s MVP is the tailoring, which retains Cadwallader’s trademark razor-blade sharpness with a newfound sense of elegance. Pre-collections, he explained, are an opportunity to explore the minimalist side of Mugler. “For me, minimalism is Mies van der Rohe,” he said (this is a good time to remind you that he is a trained architect). “It’s not boring, but extremely neurotically perfect.” Cases in point: The extra-broad shoulders are supported by boning to avoid collapsing, the buttons have been wiped out, and every line has been meticulously placed.