What is a good fashion collaboration? Is it the result of the fusion of two creative visions and a unique design DNA? Or is the success about a little-known name being given a platform to bring their work to the masses? Or, it could be the alchemy of two creatives crossing an artistic divide—whether a graphic designer, painter, print designer or film director. Whatever it is, if there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s that in the right hands, fashion collaborations can break the internet.
If there’s a collaboration most likely to fail your browser this year is H&M x Mugler. Launching in May (time to set these alerts), the collection celebrates everything that creative director Casey Cadwallader has brought to the French fashion house. Unlike some of H&M’s previous designer collaborations, it’s notable how close the collection was to Cadwallader’s original runway looks: think mesh bodysuits, shoulder pads, sculptural miniskirts and bustiers. There are also pieces pulled directly from the brand’s archives – namely Thierry Mugler’s 80 and 80 hottest Single – Honestly, this could be mistaken for the original. New fans and OG fans alike won’t be disappointed.
But does the series match reality? I want to find out.
For the sake of full transparency, before I venture into the H&M showroom, I’m assuming I’m not the target audience for H&M x Mugler: I prefer oversized skin-tight silhouettes, as far as I can tell You know, never worn a bodysuit or any mesh and crotch to compare. However, I ended my visit with a wish list of items I really liked: a vintage-inspired miniskirt, a pair of perfectly cut trousers, a boxy men’s blazer, and yes, There’s even the bodysuit that the collection hyped. So what changed my mind?
Since Cadwallader’s Mugler joined the fashion house at 2018, high street brands have been offering him his own interpretation and so, in high fashion Outside of the constraints of fabric and construction, the brand’s body-hugging designs were always at risk of failing. However, the first thing that struck me about the collection was the unexpected weight of even the thinnest items hanging from the railings: the bodysuit was almost as strong as a dive, while the archival miniskirt featured a Origami-like fabric folds defy gravity. This, paired with Mugler’s signature monochrome palette, meant I was dealing with a collection that was undeniably beautiful, on and off the hanger.