Thierry Mugler: The bad boy of fashion system
Born in Strasbourg in 1948, Thierry Mugler moved to Paris in 1972 where he started working as a freelance designer for many famous fashion houses, firstly just in Paris and quickly expanding also to fashion houses abroad in cities like Milan, London and Barcelona, gaining fame and audience very quickly.
In 1973 he created his first collection called “Cafe de Paris”, characterized by a both sophisticated and urban style. Melaka Tréanton, a famous fashion editor at the time, helped him launch his collection presenting it at an event in Tokyo, in 1976.
It was in 1978 that he created his boutique in Paris, in Place des Victoires and rapidly gained attention by the most extreme brigade of designers of the time.
He gave birth to a wide variety of signature pieces, starting from more commercial and easily wearable suits and dresses for women to the most extravagant designs, mainly made for big events (like fashion shows, theatre shows, musicals, concerts,..) and movies that became his staple pieces and the reason why he was and still is admired and venerated at such level.
His fashion shows were extravagant affairs held in arena-like environments and the collections associated with them had themes like for example sci-fi in the late seventies, an Africa theme one season, a vampire-devil theme the next, an aquatic theme the following one, featuring dresses that were looking like animals, plants, constructions, vehicles, and the most extravagant and uncommon shapes.
He designed signature looks for Michael Jackson, Madonna, Grace Jones, David Bowie, and Diana Ross, and often also created tailored and unique costumes for the most famous musicals, concerts, theater shows, video clips.
For over two decades, Mugler was a reigning force in fashion, an enfant terrible who defied bourgeois sensibilities with his spectacular looks and magnificent, sometimes almost hour-long runway shows.
Mugler revealed on the occasion of the exhibition’s announcement. That fascination led him to create clothes which transformed the wearers into futuristic femme fatales, whose superpowers were seduction and self-assurance.
In 2008 the Mugler brand launched Thierry Mugler Beauty, a high-end line of cosmetics, especially elitist perfumes showing once again extravagant and unique bottle shapes.
His first perfume, Angel, had actually already appeared in 1992, followed in 1996 by the male version, but the business was re-boosted actively when in 2005 the fragrance Alien was created and sold with great success.
Despite retiring from his brand, Mugler made the exception to design under his name “House of Mugler” for the Met Gala in 2019 and Kim Kardashian as well.
He left us quite recently in January 2022, but the business of his Fashion House will keep running thanks to the current creative director Casey Cadwallader.