The first two outfits entered stage right.
Picture crisp body-con jackets with peaked bonnets attached, outlandishly ginormous furry sleeves and undulating peplums that stuck out sharply cascading with silk-fringed skirts - all in ice white. Then picture another team of white-clad models, some wearing jackets with high, round tennis ball shoulders, others in strict pencil skirts with even more exaggerated peplums.
It was hard to keep your eye on one outfit as the stage filled with teams of bodies, all marching in different directions and with alarming speed given the steepness of the heels. There were insect-like automatons who appeared, all in jumpsuits, orange, black and white; a series of impeccable long white coats with collars and belts as crisp as karate outfits; bizarre black widows in structured and partially transparent mini dresses, one side of their faces obscured by their head gear; and black/white printed dresses that burst out at the front and looked as if they might have hatched an alien.
And what with the music – electro-classic was the theme, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto (the Japanese classical music god of The Last Emperor fame) and remixed live by Michel Gaubert (the music fashion show maestro) - the visual and aural effect was like a hive of wasps.
‘It was about Asia and insects – the Insect show was my favourite Mugler collection in 1997,’ explained Nicola Formichetti, the Japanese-Italian designer backstage, of the silhouettes that had been drawn directly from the Mugler archive. ‘She’s not really sexual; she’s sharper, but at the same time very refined. That was our girl this season.’ Or, as he wrote in his show notes: ‘Mugler woman might sting, bite or scratch this season.’
This was Formichetti’s third show for the brand – and the first without any obvious input from Lady Gaga, whom he famously styles. He didn’t need her. Formichetti is emblematic of a new designer breed. The former uber stylist has over 140,000 followers (or little pandas as he calls them) on Twitter, he has embraced all social media, turning the usual mystery of the designer and the elitist, secretive business of fashion on its head. In the week running up to the show, anyone could log onto the internet and watch the final preparations unfold. He calls this ‘Fashion Without Frontiers’.