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Thierry Mugler’s Extravagant, Otherworldly Legacy Lives On


It’s fascinating to contemplate how a designer like Thierry Mugler would have tackled trend week amid lockdown. From the launch of his eponymous label in 1973 to retirement in 2002, Mugler’s method to the runway was akin to theater. (It’s no surprise he made costumes for the circus at one level in his profession.) And his collections, in fact, had been on the identical stage; it was solely acceptable that the mannequin who wore the metallic cyborg getup in his really legendary twentieth anniversary displaying revealed it with a sudden drop of a floor-length coat. Mugler, who now goes by Manfred, finally turned his focus towards bodybuilding—to the purpose that the New York Instances as soon as described him as a “240-pound spectacle of muscle and nipple and tattoo.” His legacy, however, lives on. From the exaggerated silhouettes that outlined the ‘80s to the fetishization of latex, it’ll all be on full show in “Couturissime,” an upcoming touring exhibition opening at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs in September. Within the meantime, revisit a number of the showman’s most memorable stagings and appears.

© Patrice Steady, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Simonetta Gianfelici sporting a satin robe impressed by Botticelli’s The Start of Venus, and reprised on the 2019 Grammy Awards by Cardi B, at Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1995 presentation and twentieth anniversary celebration.

© Luigi & Iango, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Gisele Bündchen sporting Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1991 prêt-à-porter assortment.

© Peter Knapp, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Stern sporting Thierry Mugler’s fall/winter 1979 prêt-à-porter assortment, Spirale Futuriste.

© Patrice Steady, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Emma Sjöberg sporting Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1992 prêt-à-porter assortment, Les Cow-boys, on the set of George Michael’s “Too Funky” music video.

David Bowie sporting a glance from Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1992 prêt-à-porter assortment, Les Cow-boys, on the set of Tin Machine’s “You Belong in Rock ’n’ Roll” music video.

© Dominique Issermann, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Jerry Corridor sporting a glance from Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1997 prêt-à-porter assortment, Les Insectes.

© Patrice Steady, courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

A mannequin sporting a rubber “tire” swimsuit from Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1997 couture assortment, Les Insectes, in collaboration with Abel Villareal.

© Helmut Newton, courtesy of the Helmut Newton Basis, Berlin and Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Claudia Lynx sporting Thierry Mugler’s spring/summer time 1995 assortment at his twentieth anniversary presentation, photographed by Helmut Newton.



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