Brothers of Arcadia is the second offering by Mugler’s Creative Director Nicola Formichetti and menswear designer Romain Kremer for the French label. Kicking off Paris Fashion Week, the duo presented their Spring Summer 2012 collection which cited many inspirations particularly of importance to Formichetti. Referencing his Italian and Japanese roots Formichetti mentioned Italian cinema, specifically the films of Fellini &Pasoloni in addition to the Japanese comic character of Greek mythological heritage Sen Seia as fuel for his collection, ”this season,” he told the press, “I put more of myself into it.”
Moving away from the post apocalyptic darkness of his previous menswear collection Formichetti focused upon placing the archetypal Greek God into hyper modern sportswear, replacing the face of last season, Rico the Zombie Boy, with a masculine, armour clad Adonis. Retaining some of his rebelliousness however with a sprinkling of tattooed punks and fraternity boys, Formichetti made the collection feel more accessible to the mere mortal, a key point he expanded upon this season, stating that he wanted to make “something more real.” He achieved this by relaxing Mugler’s signature formal tailoring, deconstructing the suit by slashing the waistband then adding a transparent latex panel, cinched in with a drawstring cord, even splicing sportswear beneath the waistline of one suit Formichetti created an interesting dynamic. Elsewhere jackets appeared sans sleeves, paired with matching white shorts the look was fresh, high shine gold body armour avoiding an insipid silhouette.
Colour was prolific throughout the collection. From the starting point of beige and nudes, Formichetti introduced subtle grays, adding interest and depth through materials such as plastic shirts, contrasting lurex paneled leggings, shiny golden metal body armour and even petrol coloured glitter scattered over rash vests and leggings. A few black pieces added a bass chord to the collection, a pair pf latex long shorts paired with a long sleeved t shirt exposing the entire torso nodded towards Formichetti’s accompanying uncensored short fashion film shot by Branislav Jankic, which depicts often entirely nude models in seductively languid poses, the “moving mood board” of the collection as he put it. 80’s pastel hues lightened the atmosphere, a vivid and acidic neon green “representing the blood of the digital era” framed and defined the collection, a permanent reminder of Mugler’s futuristic vision. Stonewashed double denim hearkened to the past, as did the college jackets and crested shirts, juxtaposing the ethos of the label perfectly, Formichetti and Kremer have retained enough of Mugler’s magic to build upon this Arcadia in future.