Critics can’t decide if stylist Nicola Formichetti’s second showing as creative director for French label Thierry Mugler was more successful than his polarizing debut last season, but everyone agrees on one facet: Lady Gaga’s short film for the collection was its brief and bizarre highlight. As Formichetti’s muse, the singer always casts a shadow on his various projects, be it their own costume and styling collaborations for videos and stage or even the interior design of his own New York City pop-up boutique, Nicola’s. Last season, Formichetti invited Gaga straight onto his Mugler catwalk, where she debuted “Government Hooker” and arguably stole the limelight from the models as the show’s most ferocious latex and platform-clad walker. This season, her cameo was equally anticipated (perhaps even demanded), but she appeared only on film, leading to an air of slight anti-climax.
But even as a visage projected over the runway, she was unforgettable. Her latest accoutrement? Glow-in-the-dark buck teeth — and three rainbow heads. Her latest rhetoric? A pep talk on the immutable trifecta of Paris, pop, and, of course, Thierry Mugler, as ruled under the Formichetti empire. “Do not anger Mugler woman. She will eat you,” Gaga intoned.
From there, however, things faded into a blander sci-fi-by-numbers spectacle, with a haphazard array of chintzy fabrics and off-kilter silhouettes formulating the looks, which clearly looked better in 2D. “Trekkie goes disco” was the ostensible theme, and the angular cuts certainly strove to keep in theme with the futurist ensembles Thierry Mugler himself made iconoclastic and vital in the 80s. But unlike Gaga’s and Formichetti’s own symbiotic relationship, there was no shock value or jarring new visual information to process here. Well, except, of course, for Gaga’s newly fluorescent smile.
As cynics have relentlessly noted, Formichetti is a stylist, not a designer, leaving his understanding of draping, fit and form incomplete. That said, a bit of attitude goes a long way, and with Gaga commanding the looks, we’re sure the attempted sci-fi thriller could find a more convinced audience.
Watch the Thierry Mugler Spring 2012 film, directed by Inez and Vinoodh:
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