When Lady Gaga is involved, you can bet this is NSFW. While it was big news that Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga's original stylist, would be presenting his first womenswear collection for resurgent Paris design house Thierry Mugler, it might have been bigger news that Vogue March cover girl Lady Gaga would be walking in the show, which was live-streamed yesterday on Facebook. Nicola presented his bevy of models as various versions of Catwoman, wearing dangerously high shoes that caused a few almost-spills. And we're not talking pussycats. More like dangerous, claw-your-eyes-out cats, led by big cat Lady Gaga. She had no problem with the treacherous shoes and later, at the afterparty, wore one of the runway looks with an equally treacherous-looking pair of black boots. Click our slideshow to see all the shots of Lady Gaga, plus the provocative Fall collection.
>> The womenswear debut of new Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti tomorrow will be marked by another debut: that of Lady Gaga on the runway. The singer, who Formichetti also styles, tweeted: "I'm making my debut as a runway model, walking in the MUGLER PARIS FASHIONSHOW 3/2. I directed the show music, [and will be] previewing [new song] 'Government Hooker.'" Six roving cameras will also show backstage preparations 30 minutes before the livestream on Mugler's Facebook page. [@ladygaga, WWD]
>> Nicola Formichetti said he was all about the online, and so far, he's living up to his words. Mugler just released a web-only film today in follow up to Formichetti's debut menswear collection yesterday. The film features Formichetti's muse, the heavily tattooed Rico Zenest, and the new Lady Gaga song (from her upcoming album) that Gaga remixed especially for yesterday's show. Gaga wasn't front row, or even in attendance yesterday, but in the show notes, she said of Formichetti: "I love him, my friend the genius, my collaborator, more more than any piece of clothing or closet I possess. But don't tell him I said that, he'll die. He picked them all out." The short film was directed by fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco.
No Surprise Here — Lady Gaga Will Be Involved in Nicola Formichetti's Debut Mugler Womenswear Collection
>> Thierry Mugler and new Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti have more than a couple of things in common — neither studied fashion or have any formal design training, and both have strong ties to the pop culture world: Mugler directed and costumed the 1992 George Michael “Too Funky" music video, and more recently did costumes for Beyonce's 2009 tour, while Formichetti works as Lady Gaga's stylist. As Formichetti sums it up: “He was a kind of pop culture punk in a fashion world — and that’s me."
But despite all the similarities, Formichetti was apprehensive about taking the job: "I thought, How can you do something better than Thierry Mugler? He was a fashion god." He continued: “At first I thought I couldn’t do anything better than he did, so I didn’t want to do it. And then I said, 'F*ck it, I’m going to do my thing.'”
So how is he attacking his new role? He oversees two design directors: Sebastien Peigne, a 10-year Balenciaga veteran of Balenciaga, for women’s, and Romain Kremer, who has shown experimental looks under his own label since 2005, for men’s. Formichetti knows how to sketch, he says, but he prefers to work like a stylist, manipulating the clothes and working as a team with Peigne and Kremer to build the desired image. He also looks to the streets and friends for input and inspiration: “I feel more like a curator than a designer. It’s all about different characters and collaborations.”
One of those friends giving input? None other than Lady Gaga, who he says will be involved in his debut women's collection at the upcoming Paris Fashion Week. But she doesn't have a contract with the brand: “It’s me and her just having fun and getting very inspired from the idea of Mugler. She’s very much involved, more in the early stages.” And though she wasn't front row at the men's show today (she created its soundtrack), Formichetti has already created custom Mugler costumes for her upcoming album art, videos, and performances.
The label will be called Mugler instead of Thierry Mugler under Formichetti, and he's reining in his editorial and consulting work, aside from his role as fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan. "I want people to get excited again, not only fashion people,” Formichetti says of his vision. “I’m not here to re-create what [Thierry Mugler] did. It was perfect for the time. I’m going to do something for today and the future . . . I want to give dreams and fantasy and all those things — and I want people to wear those clothes.”
And he's big on online — forget the usual magazine exclusives, seasonal campaigns and geographic rollouts: “I want to be global, but I want to be digital, instant, direct. I don’t want it to be a ‘normal’ fashion brand. We are always punk and outsider. The great thing about the online world is it’s instant: You get feedback; the feelings of consumers and fans.”
Lady Gaga Said to Premiere New Song at Her Stylist Nicola Formichetti's Debut Thierry Mugler Menswear Show
>> Two more preview images of Nicola Formichetti's debut Thierry Mugler collection have been released, depicting his skeleton-tattooed muse, Rico Genest. In no surprise, Lady Gaga, who Formichetti styles, is involved with the show Wednesday. Formichetti says she's "musical director" for the show, and will create an exclusive soundtrack for the occasion; word is that she'll remix a never-heard track from her forthcoming album, Born This Way, which comes out May 23. The last and only other time Gaga debuted a song during a fashion show was with "Bad Romance," which had its world premiere during Alexander McQueen's Spring 2010 womenswear show, crashing the show's livestream. [WWD]
>> Earlier this week, Cathy Horyn revealed that in preparation for his first show as Thierry Mugler creative director next week, Nicola Formichetti was in Montreal photographing his "muse," Rick Genest, who has his entire body tattooed to resemble a skeleton. Formichetti found Rico, as he is known, on Facebook.
Now we have a visual to go with that inspiration. Mugler just released the official image below from Formichetti's "Anatomy of Change"-themed collection — debuting on Jan. 19 during the Paris men's shows — and promises that in the lead-up to the show next Wednesday, more will be released on the Mugler website.
>> Phoebe Philo took this year's top prize — Designer of the Year — tonight at the British Fashion Awards over fellow nominees Erdem Moralioglu and Christopher Kane, while Lara Stone won the battle of the pretty faces, scoring Model of the Year over David Gandy and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Popular vote determined Alexa Chung winner of the British Style Award, recognizing "an individual who embodies the spirit of London and is an international ambassador for London as a leading creative fashion capital.” And Sarah Burton — who designed two dresses for Special Recognition awardee Naomi Campbell (for a 25 year-long career) to choose from for the festivities — accepted the posthumously-awarded Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design prize for Lee Alexander McQueen, noting, "We will always miss him."
The full list of 2010 winners (nominees can be seen here):
Designer of the Year: Phoebe Philo for Celine
BFC Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design: Lee Alexander McQueen
Designer Brand of the Year: Mulberry
Accessory Designer of the Year: Nicholas Kirkwood
Menswear Designer of the Year: Patrick Grant for E.Tautz
Model of the Year: Lara Stone
Emerging Talent Award — Accessories: Husam El Odeh
Emerging Talent Award — Ready-to-Wear: Meadham Kirchhoff
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator of the Year: Nicola Formichetti
British Style Award: Alexa Chung
Special Recognition Award: Naomi Campbell
Digital Innovation Award: Burberry
>> In efforts to rejuvenate his business, Giorgio Armani has entered into a multimillion-dollar partnership with Lady Gaga. The relationship is being shepherded by Armani's niece Roberta Armani, who heads up VIP relations for the company; she contacted Gaga's stylist Nicola Formichetti last November after seeing the singer perform live at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, wanting to see if Lady Gaga would consider wearing Armani for the Grammy Awards. Giorgio Armani sketched out three designs for the occasion — all of which Gaga ended up wearing.
It is unusual for Armani to design specifically for one person — brand loyalists like Cate Blanchett and Michelle Pfeiffer typically chose existing outfits from the collections — but, Roberta Armani says, "It wouldn't be possible to give Gaga a look from the collection because she wears pieces of art. It's theatrical." She adds that Lady Gaga has helped the company think younger: "A huge company like Giorgio Armani has the duty to always be alert to trends and what appeals to young people. It helped to see how the world is through Lady Gaga, the way she uses Facebook and Twitter."
Post-Grammys, Gaga reached out to Armani about her Alejandro video — she wanted tight black military-style leather suits for the male dancers; the suits not only showed up in the video, but in the Emporio Armani men's fashion show in June (the "Alejandro" video played on the runway backdrop). Armani has since dressed Lady Gaga for the MTV Video Music Awards, her appearance on American Idol, and for her "Monster Ball" concert tour. He's soon to start working on costumes for her concert in Italy in December. But the two have yet to meet.
>> Lady Gaga on Her Stylist Nicola Formichetti For Thierry Mugler — Lady Gaga reacted to the recent appointment of her stylist, Nicola Formichetti, as the creative director of Thierry Mugler. "Blood pumps through Nicola's veins like perfume and cigarettes. His brain throbs with misfit royalty, glamour as punk survival, attitude as liberation, style as revolution," said Gaga. "Thierry Mugler has a way with legendary lifestyle and Nicola is just that: Epic Lifestyle, Freakdom, Gorgeous or Die . . . Nicola Formichetti is Fashion's Freedom. I love him, my friend the genius, my collaborator, more than any piece of clothing or closet I possess. But don't tell him I said that, he'll die. He picked them all out." [Nylon]
>> Thierry Mugler has finally confirmed the rumors: Nicola Formichetti, most widely known as Lady Gaga's stylist, is the house's new men's and women's wear creative director. He will oversee Sebastian Peigne, a 10 year Balenciaga veteran and Mugler's new women's head designer, and Romain Kremer, who has shown experimental men's looks since 2005 and has been named Mugler's new men's head designer.
Formichetti, who will show his first collection for Fall 2011, succeeds Rosemary Rodriguez. He is also fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan and a contributing editor of V, Dazed & Confused, and Another Magazine; a Mugler spokeswoman said he would continue his editorial and celebrity work.
“We were looking for a young talent who could really bring new energy to the brand,” said Joel Palix, director general of the Mugler company. “Nicola is a multicultural, techno-savvy expert involved in fashion, communication, image and entertainment. He and the appointed talented designers will represent a new direction for French fashion."