Thierry Mugler Exhibition, Musée Des Beaux-Arts Montréal

“Fashion is a movie. Every morning when you get dressed, you direct yourself.”- Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler was a French fashion designer, creative director, and adviser of Mugler, who passed away at 73, on January 23rd, 2022. He launched his fashion house in the 1970s and quickly rose to prominence in the following decades for his hyperfeminine and futuristic approach to fashion and haute couture.  His style was revolutionary, with its vibrant colors and intricate designs, it made his shows one of a kind. He was one of the first designers to include transgender models in his runway shows, which was extremely monumental at the time. Mugler’s shows were known for their extravagance and theatrical appeal. Mugler’s unique concepts made him and his collections extremely special. 

Thierry Mugler was born in Strasbourg France in 1948. He was always passionate about the arts ever since he was a kid. He started learning classical dance at fourteen, and later he joined the ballet corps for Rhin Opera. At the same time, Mugler began formal interior design training at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts. At age 24, Mugler began to work in Paris and started designing apparel for Gudule, a Parisian store. Two years later, he began designing for a range of prêt-a-porter fashion stores in various parts of the world. Mugler was not only involved in couture fashion, but he also ventured out and collaborated with artists like George Michael and Robert Altman; and entertainment companies, including Cirque de Soleil to direct a scene from Zumanity. One of Mugler’s popular collaborations was in 2019 when he designed Kim Kardashians Met Gala Outfit and the theme for that year’s gala was “camp.” It gained a lot of media attention, and the look perfectly encompassed Mugler’s eccentric style and the gala’s theme.

Mugler has made an incredibly important impact on the fashion industry and over the course of his life collaborated with many legendary artists including David Bowie, George Michael, and Diana Ross, as well as designed iconic performance looks for Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Many of his friends and colleagues paid tribute on Instagram and spoke out when he passed. “No no no no no,” model Bella Hadid wrote, adding a downcast emoji. Heidi Klum left a broken heart emoji, writing “Icon”, while Kylie Minogue thanked Mugler for his “art”. “Deepest condolences. A true visionary. Thank you for your art Manfred,” she said. 

Mugler retired from fashion in 2002, he stepped back from the industry to focus on fragrances and costume design, reverting to his birth name Manfred. He gained a lot of success with his popular fragrances including his first iconic fragrance released in 1992 Angel. Like his fashion, his fragrances stand out because of their distinct Mugler style and unique bottles and campaign imagery. Thierry Mugler was a visionary who made his runway a beautiful and accepting place. He introduced a style of fashion that was never done before and incorporated diversity in his shows which paved the way for many designers after him. His influence in the industry will live on and he will always be remembered.

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