by John Russel Jones

The Mugler H&M collection will make its debut at hm.com and in selected stores on May 11th, but if it’s anything like some of the other major designer collections the brand has done in the past (including Balmain, Lanvin, Moschino, Versace, and Kenzo), fans will be lucky to find even a discarded hangtag or a loose button anywhere on the floor by May 12th. According to PopSugar, back in 2014, the Lagerfeld collection sold out in one hour.

Thierry Mugler, who passed away in 2022, was a major force in 1980s and ’90s fashion. His work is currently the subject of Couturissime, an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art that was originally assembled by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. His over-the-top style seems perfect for a time when the metaverse promises imaginative, surreal fashion for everyone. The house is currently under the guidance of an American designer, Creative Director Casey Cadwallader, formerly of Loewe, Narciso Rodriguez, and Acne Studios.

The H&M collection’s menswear assortment features a collection of leather styles including trousers, blazers, and a trench coat with engraved buttons. The denim selection includes a sculpted jacket with padding that accentuates the form. Sharp tailoring can be layered with see-through flocked star print tops and corseted tanks.

Supermodel Jerry Hall models a dress from the H&M Mugler Collection.

The womenswear silhouette includes Mugler’s signature oversized shoulders with a cinched waist, shaping the body. There are many modern expressions of the house codes, including spiral multi-seaming, which runs throughout the collection in the form of baggy jeans, nylon and denim bonded thong jeans, and jackets.

The collection offers an array of gender-fluid accessories including sheer gloves and tights, bags, and scarves. Within jewelry, there are silver and gold body chains, earrings, and necklaces in different proportions and shapes, ranging from teardrops to the iconic Mugler star.

“This collection is a watershed moment for the house of Mugler – a chance for us to celebrate our history and the pieces that we are beloved for today. The collaboration includes many of our signatures, from catsuits and bodycon dresses to tailoring, denim, and beautiful, bold jewelry and accessories,” says Cadwallader.

“Casey and the Mugler team have been incredibly generous in offering up so many of the house’s classics and signatures, which shoppers will recognize from the runway and red carpet,’” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor at H&M. “The collection encapsulates the H&M ethos of sharing great fashion and democratizing design. Every piece is an icon.”

The archive revival part of the collection is a tribute to Mugler’s greatest hits from the ’80s and ’90s and is curated by Cadwallader. Each style embodies the founder’s legacy and arrives with its own special label featuring Thierry Mugler’s signature. Pieces include a black velvet dress with a shaped waist and puffed sleeves, a lace corset dress, a skirt suit with piercing details, and an acidic green tailored jacket. Accessories for this section include boomerang-shaped earrings and a double brooch connected by a chain.

Photographed by Lengua and styled by Haley Wollens, the collection’s lookbook features a vast array of talents, from fashion icons to musical talents, and highlights the spirit of Mugler’s diverse community. The cast includes Jerry HallConnie Fleming, Mariacarla Boscono, Anna Ewers, Ariish Wol, Sora Choi, Imaan Hammam, Selena Forrest, Lidia Judickaite, Yilan Hua, Aweng Chuol, Amaarae, Eartheater, Arca, Xu Meen, Luthando Ngema, Cheikh Diakhate, and Fernando Lindez.