15 June 2010

We love fashion. As soon as one rumour starts doing the rounds, another comes along to outdo it. Case in point: on Friday, Grazia Daily reported that all of Fashionland was abuzz with the whispers that grungey goth (and new BFF of Daphne Guinness) Gareth Pugh, was set to take over the label of choice for powerdressing vixens - Thierry Mugler.

The label, well known for its poke-your-eye out tailoring and tiny-waisted superheroine aesthetic seemed a good match for a showman who started his career wowing the fashion press by sculpting jagged suits from checkerboard plexiglass and vinyl and creating light-up jackets while Katy Perry was still in high school.

Well, a weekend is a long time in fashion. And last night the US blogs were reporting that another fashion name was being mentioned in connection with the head role at Mugler. None other than Lady Gaga's stylist, Nicola Formichetti. The Japanese-Italian fashion editor – he’s fashion director for Vogue Hommes Japan and creative director for Dazed & Confused -  is responsible for helping to create Gaga's famously bonkers style, and is also thought to already be the talent behind the shadowy entity that is the Haus of Gaga - an in-house fashion label which takes credit for producing many of the craziest outfits worn by the singer.

beyonce mugler

Thierry Mugler's Parisian fashion label was a huge hit in the power-dressing 80s, but failed to survive the grungey 1990s, although the couture division was still in operation until 2003. A retrospective exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in 2009 caught the eye of a certain Ms Beyonce Knowles who wore several of Thierry's most iconic pieces - including a gold robotic suit in her videos. The saucy sci-fi piece formed the basis of the wardrobe the bootylicious star wore for performing as her foxy on-stage alter ego Sasha Fierce. Knowles also appointed Thierry Mugler himself as creative advisor to design 58 costumes for her 2009 world tour.

Naturally the time was ripe for a much-needed revival of the brand, which in recent years was known mainly for its chocolate scented smash-hit fragrance Angel. In 2008, Rosemary Rodriguez was appointed Creative Director, but the label failed to make an impact on the current fashion scene. Today there are reports that Rodriguez exited the house three weeks ago.

Of course, Formichetti’s fashion antics with Lady G are precisely the kind of stylish stunts that suggest he could take Mugler back to its headline grabbing glory days. But what's really interesting about the possibility of his taking over the top job at Mugler is the fact that he is a stylist rather than a designer.

In recent years a new breed of superstar stylist has increasingly blurred the lines between the roles of designer and stylist with creative consultants like Katie Grand thought to have extensive input into the designs at the top luxury labels that employ their services.

Meanwhile, increasingly, stylists themselves are launching their own fashion lines, legendary Harpers Bazaar fashion editor Melanie Ward now has a small collection of ready to wear pieces, and the duo behind Current Elliott, Emily Current and Merritt Elliott were both LA stylists before starting their jeans line - which now has a full range of womenswear. Most famously, L'Wren Scott, former red carpet stylist to the likes of Nicole Kidman and Madonna, now creates elegant ready to wear, sold on

Whether or not Nicola Formichetti is the man for the job remains to be seen. And we await the next Mugler rumour with interest.. [hintmag]


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