How the second skin catsuit became a celebrity staple
( @muglerofficial / Instagram )
Pop stars rest on a different wavelength when it comes to trends. While most of us are financially limited to investment pieces that will be regulars in our daily ensembles, celebrities have the opportunity to transcend the average by choosing which standout garments they’ll be dawning next. Right now, some of the industry’s leading ladies are on the same, skintight page. So much so, that Hollywood practically commenced the sisterhood of the traveling Mugler catsuit.
Think Britney Spears and the red latex Oops! outfit, or a nostalgic Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, with an undeniable futuristic flair. And who does space-age excellence better than the O.G., Thierry Mugler?
This house has history, and it all started with Manfred Thierry Mugler. The brand has seen a multitude of directorial faces, but components of Mugler’s vision have lived on. Back in 2011 when Nicola Formichetti was named creative director, she said, “Thierry Mugler is about the power of glamour and walking straight into the future … He fused pop and high fashion, told a story in style and combined fantasy with reality.”
Fantastical doesn’t begin to describe the magic of Mugler. His shows were practically performances; the theatrical elements that appealed to the divas of the 20th century, are now reemerging for the primadonnas of today. What was once David Bowie and Naomi Campbell, is now Beyonce and Ariana Grande.
So, when and how did these bodysuits become all the rage?
This catalyst of catsuits began with Casey Cadwallader, current creative director of Mugler and the man of the hour. At just 34-years-old, he is spearheading this fashion movement. With both elegant and shapeshifting qualities, Cadwallader has birthed bodysuits that accentuate the curvature and allure of the female form. He said he wants to deliver, “a new type of sexiness and boldness to women, one where they choose how they want to project themselves.”
It’s hard to say which woman did it first, but singer Dua Lipa certainly brought attention and eyes to the iconic silhouette when she sported a glitz version of the suit during her November 2020 Studio 2054 virtual performance, but has been a fan since 2019, attributing a lot of Cadwallader’s success to the Future Nostalgia queen.
Since stripping down Mugler’s structured and sexy bases, the absence of camp has made them wearable for many high-profile names.
Cardi B and Meagan Thee Stallion served Daphne Blake pastel vibes in their WAP music video. Miley Cyrus kept it classic with an all-black suit, diamonds and a red lip for her Heart of Glass cover. Then Beyonce graced the cover of British Vogue with a mesh moment. And then there’s Doja Cat, Kali Uchis, and a slew of others. Who knew a bodysuit could be so powerful?
I love this resurgence of Mugler and Cadwallader’s simplified spin. It fully embraces this new era of body neutrality and doesn’t shy away from showing true and authentic shapes. Hopefully this bandwagon trend sticks around for a while, perhaps even a more androgynous take in the near future. If anyone has any ideas on how to bring this look into our closets more casually, let me know. Until then, I’m living for the drama of Mugler.
Madeline Murphy is an Online Editor at Rowdy Magazine. She’s currently studying Journalism with a minor in Women’s Studies. Madeline can be found making Apple Music playlists, trying Nigella Lawson recipes and binging SATC. She’s fiercely passionate about social justice and the power of words. Her Instagram is @maduhlinemurphy