EDITORIAL - Dec 14, 2021
Thierry Mugler’s fashion photography championed the monumental and heroic. His models of choice (immaculately made-up über-femmes and square jawed he-men) were placed within the context of architectural icons of New York, Paris and Moscow, facing skyward, heralding a brave new world that Mugler was ushering in with his unapologetically bombastic fashion. The architecture in those photos, however, always took center stage, often dwarfing the models to mere specks within the frame. We felt incredibly inspired and decided to use those images as a springboard for MUGLER at ANT/DOTE. Luckily for us, Atlanta’s Downtown, designed by architect John Portman, is a modernist wonderland rendered in concrete. This shoot is as much a love letter to Atlanta as it is to Mugler.
While conceptualizing the shoot, I’d remembered photographer’s Stéphane Sednaoui’s striking editorial for The Face (Oct.1989) of which Mugler’s famous biker corset was featured. The shoot, color saturated with flaming reds and dazzling golds, referenced superheroes from comic books, with models twisting and turning as if hurling through the air. Perfectly unreal but a lot of fun. Also, Nathan Hertz's 1958 camp classic, Attack Of The 50ft Woman, got a viewing. After all, Mugler isn’t for shrinking violets.
But we always held Casey Cadwallader's vision for Mugler in the back of our minds when doing this shoot. His unabashed celebration of the power of Femme was our leitmotif. We love his expression of diversity, whether it be age, race, or body size. And of course, we love his bold and expressive designs of which we drew parallels with Portman’s architecture. But Cadwallader's modernist approach isn’t dry or humorless so we weren't either. We hope you will find the resulting photos as amusing and fun as we do. It's camp, it's glam, it’s MUGLER.