Shygirl joins models Jerry Hall and Imaan Hammam for a first look at the Mugler X H&M collaboration

By Jennifer Raymont

Published Mar 24, 2023 at 02:33 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

The fashion rumour mill has been working non-stop speculating over who might be at the helm of the next luxury designer collaboration with high-street retailer H&M. Past collabs have included the likes of Versace, Isabel Marant, and Simone Rocha. And now, it’s officially been announced that creative director Casey Cadwallader will be democratising Mugler, with the anticipated joint collection due to launch on Thursday 11 May 2023.

 

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Paying tribute to the late Thierry Mugler, the collection is every Y2K girly’s dream. Celebrating curves and lines of the body through Mugler’s synonymous silhouette, the collab is a stomping ode to self-confidence.

Cadwallader clearly sees the partnership with H&M as an opportunity for Mugler’s iconic legacy to be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, irregardless of budget. So, could this truly be the end of the exclusive era of fashion?

The collection is three-fold. First, we’re given signature Mugler tailoring with exaggerated shoulders, asymmetric dresses and crystal co-ords. Low-rise is also out in full force as Dutch model Imaan Hammam bursts onto the campaign in a blazer worn over an ultra-cut bodysuit and mini-skirt, styled with a chunky hardware ‘M’ belt.

 

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Next, Cadwallader takes us on the ultimate Berlin club scene experience. Contrasting neon green and pink with classic black, Mugler is the answer to our next ‘out-out’ look. With cutouts, leather and sheer, Mugler X H&M is set to push boundaries—as well as our tolerance for the quintessential British downpour.

Finally, Mugler catsuits aren’t just for Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian. Previously sold as a top, H&M specifically commissioned catsuits for the collection, adding serious feline energy to the fashion.

 

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Although the collection includes menswear pieces, Cadwallader wants to reiterate the fluidity of gender. “While the collection includes both menswear and womenswear, the fluid transformational cross-gender styling that has always underpinned the Mugler ethos is central,” the designer told Harper’s Bazaar.

The campaign sees Shygirl, Amaarae, Eartheater and Arca become the ultimate girl group covering Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. Meanwhile, legendary Mugler Muses, Jerry Hall and Connie Flemming, invite Cadwallader himself to their 80s-inspired talk show. The rest of the cast is a celebration of diversity and accessibility. It’s not just the music that sounds better with you, so does Mugler.

 

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Despite the designer collaborations with H&M over the years allowing for greater accessibility, there are questions to be raised over the prolific fast fashion brand. Past high-budget collections with the brand have flown off of the shelves, so what does this have to say about genuine efforts to promote sustainable shopping and slow fashion habits?

Understandably, to fit the smaller price tag, Mugler has made adjustments to the products in comparison to the brand’s core collection. This has, however, led to criticism over the quality of the clothes and how long they last.

Guilty of prolific greenwashing, H&M has been repeatedly exposed for misleading its customers regarding the company’s sustainability initiatives, despite gen Zers demanding transparency.

When it comes to H&M’s treatment of its employees, the jury is out. Perpetrators of wage theft, H&M knowingly exploited garment workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia to account for financial losses during the pandemic, as reported by The Guardian. Should high-end designers help to create revenue for brands that take advantage of vulnerable workers? And more importantly, should we be actively supporting them?

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