‘A Mugler woman is a conqueror who holds the reins of her own life’.
I.- Who is Thierry Mugler?
French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler is a living legend, thus there is no need to write a long biography this time. However, we would like to share whith you some of the milestones of his career to date.
1948 # Manfred Thierry Mugler is born in Strabourg, France.
1962 # Joins The Opera of the Rhine Ballets and the School of Decorative Arts.
1968 # Moves to Paris and becomes a member of the Café de Flore’ team. Becomes a fashion designer after selling fashion sketches.
1973 # Manfred creates his first line called ‘Café de Paris’ using his other first name ‘Thierry’.
1974 # Creates his own label and founds the ‘Thierry Mugler House’. He launches the ‘unisex suit’, opens the new era of the woman-star and introduces the dea of spectacle within the fashion universe. Since then, Thierry Mugler presents his fashion shows like variety shows. Being a transdiciplinary artist, he conceives everything: music, scenery, choreography and lighting.
1982 # He begins his four years of education in dramatic art at the famous ‘Cours Florent’ in Paris.
1984 # To celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Couture House in 1984, Thierry Mugler organizes a ‘super show’ for his Fall-Winter collection, which is opened to the public. It is sold-out and gather more that 6,000 attendants.
1987 # Writes and directs a short film that airs on the French Television Channel TF1 called ‘L’antimentale’.
1990 # French Television Channel Canal Plus asks him to create and direct four short films.
1992 # Presents his first Haute Couture collection at The Ritz Hotel in Paris. Besides, Thierry Mugler and ‘Thierry Mugler Parfums’ create the perfume partnering with Clarins (by 1997 this company had bought him out completely, and Mugler had become increasingly disengaged): ‘Angel’. It is among the 10 most sold perfumes in the world. In 1992 he launched his first perfume, Angel, and Clarins, his partner in the fragrance, also bought a share in his fashion empire. Thirteen years later the perfume ‘Alien’ is presented.
1996 # A show organized for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of The Mugler House takes place at ‘Le Cirque d’Hiver’ in Paris. It is a never seen before super-production.
2002 # Mugler hands over creative control of his label’s fashion and clothing category, after becoming dissatisfied with the increasingly important money-making aspects of the business. This year ‘Le Cirque Du Soleil’ counts on Thierry Mugler to create a brand new variety show in Las Vegas (USA):’Zumanity’. This is nothing new for him, as had previously created costumes for 2 ‘opéra-ballets’, a musical and famous French singer Mylène Farmer from 1984 to 1989.
2008 # Becomes artistic consultant for the worldwide 2009 tour of Beyoncé Knowles.
2011 # Collaborates with Lady Gaga in the catwalk project ‘Government Hooker’.
2014 # Presents a new show in the prestigious theater ‘Friedrichstadt-Palas’, Berlin.
II.- Thierry Mugler: the works
The way we see it, the nineties were a golden time for Mugler in the realm of fashion. Have a look at Mugler Spring/Summer 1997 Haute Couture Show and try o convince us of the opposite!
We would like to highlight some of our favorite Thierry Mugler creations. In particular, we would like to focus on his early collaboration with Helmut Newton and his insect-inspired designs.
Thierry Mugler and Helmut Newton
Thierry Mugler has earned major reputation as photographer. His images have been compiled the books Thierry Mugler Photographer’ (Editions du Regard, Rizzoli Publications, Thames and Hudson Publications) and ‘Fashion Fetish Fantasy’ (General Publishing Group USA). His photographic talent could be considered of paramount importance for his success as cinema director.
Curiously, he embarked upon his photographic career in 1978 after a run-in with the famous photographer Helmut Newton. Thierry Mugler had hired the German photographer to shoot one of his campaigns and Newton became annoyed by Mugler’s constant interference. ‘I was furious that somebody should tell me how to take my photos’, recalled Newton. At the end, Newton raised his camera to Thierry and advises him to shoot his campaign himself. The designer took his advice and set out on his first advertising campaign as a photographer in 1978.
The ‘Insect Woman’ Haute Couture Collection by Thierry Mugler
Mugler presented this fashion collection in 1997 (a look that was resurrected by Nicola Formichetti for fall 2012). Thierry Mulger was criticized during his whole career for the not-so-comfortable styling and fitting. He was both acused of mysoginy and wanting to elevate the Woman to the status of pagan goddess. Under Mugler’s influence, bodies became hybrids, shocking artifacts of fantastic nature. His imaginative and rule breaking approach to design and his supernatural aesthetic paved the way for fashion revolutionaries such as Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier or Iris Van Herpen.
Beyond controversy, we admire Thierry Mugler because he has always followed his instinct. We admire him for his strong willpower. We admire him because he has remained true to himself, no matter the cost. He set his goals and fought for them. He decided who he wanted to become at every stage of his life. He always wanted to be singular… and he got it.
Bonus: ‘Thierry Mugler is back after a decade in the fasion wilderness’ | Telegraph.co.uk
Disclaimer.- The copyright of these images belongs to their original authors.
1 Quote source: p. 169, Thierry Mugler: Galaxy Glamour, Thames & Hudson, 2010)