The frenzied thrashing of strings from John Williams’s theme to Jaws washed over the audience as the last models left the catwalk. The song was a clue about David Koma’s inspiration for this Mugler collection. “I have this little obsession with sharks—their danger and their beauty,” he said backstage. You could certainly spot a streamlined shadow of the sharks flitting through the runway waters here. Dégradé paillettes glittered in sharkskin shades of gunmetal while patent flats with inset commando soles had the bullet-like shape of a great white’s nose.
Less elusive than Koma’s starting-point sharkiness was the influence of scuba and swimwear. There were black pants that fitted like wetsuits, with tidelines of white piping running down the leg. A cropped, shoulder-padded, sweatshirt-shaped sweater and mini skirt were reminiscent of that shark chainmail worn as insurance by undersea adrenaline hunters. Leather bonded to neoprene were used in white jackets with faux-utilitarian fastenings and gently rounded shoulders and arms. There were a lot of aesthetically-placed zippers designed to draw the eye to the thigh, neckline, or hip. Ultimately this was a broadly enjoyable collection of sleekly sexy, sports-inflected womenswear. Koma said that his main goal for this season was to have fun. He was certainly working within his comfort zone: treading water but in no need of rescue.