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Thierry Mugler: Revisiting Iconic Looks

Manfred Thierry Mugler was a designer who had all of us under his spell. With sheer dresses, iconic corsets and avant-garde looks, Mugler earned his place in the fashion world. The French designer’s death on January 23, 2022 had people shocked but once again drew attention to his unbelievably good legacy. In this article we will be remembering his iconic looks since he began creating in the 70’s.

Taking a look back into his life, we can see that Mugler was into many kinds of art. He started taking ballet lessons when he was 14, started studying architecture but found his passion in fashion and photography. His love for dance could easily be an influence for the theatrical looks he made. He also designed costumes for plays such as Macbeth and wanted his fashion shows to be spectacles. Thierry Mugler was loved by so many artists and he kept working with many celebrities even after he left his fashion house in 2002.

For his fashion view, we can say that he loved futurism, sexual fetishism, elevated feminine silhouettes and theatrical looks. Resulting from his influences, he worked with materials such as nylon, latex, vinyl and metal but he combined them with softer materials like tulle and sheer fabrics for contrasting combinations. He definitely knew how to make a show out of garments.

The Venus

This look was first introduced at the Fall/Winter 1995 show, which was the most iconic show of Thierry Mugler. The dress resembles the Birth of Venus painting by Michelangelo. It was worn by Cardi B at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Cardi is a big fan of Thierry Mugler and wore many pieces by him throughout the years. Considering their love for being extra, this duo does not come as a big surprise.

The Motorcycle Corset

This beautifully made showstopper corset was first seen at the 1992 Spring/Summer collection. It was definitely a unique piece. The motorcycle corset was used in George Michael’s “Too Funky” music video, for which Mugler designed many dresses. However, it was not the last time we saw it. For her “I Am” World Tour in 2009, Beyonce chose Thierry Mugler as the costume designer and the corset was seen in her tour video. It remains to be an iconic piece of art up-to this date.

The Gold Corset

Yet another corset we have made by the great designer. Corsets were his strong side and he knew how to use this power. This gold corset was also introduced at the Fall/Winter’95 show. Mugler combined it with a tulle, breaking the metallic hardness with a softer fabric. The corset was worn by Celine Dion for an album shoot and also by Irina Shayk for a photoshoot.

The Wet Dress

Even after he retired from fashion, he kept working with celebrities for special occasions. Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala 2019 look. This dress was made from latex and had beads that looked like water droplets. The duo worked on the look together and managed to create a sensational idea. As always, it created controversy between the fashion world as some loved it and some didn’t. It was a different look for sure. Kim and Mugler kept collaborating on different looks over the last few years until he sadly passed away.

The Too Funky

This beautiful white gown worn by the supermodel Linda Evangelista was one of the many looks made for the “Too Funky” music video. If you haven’t seen it you should definitely take a look at the video since it’s a mini Mugler fashion show.

The Robot

Mugler had a fascination for science fiction, and he liked combining it with eroticism and therefore the look I call “The Robot”. This cyborg suit by Mugler for his Fall/Winter 1995 couture show was received as “a frightening and tantalizing image for the dawn of the Internet age” by Vogue. It was later on worn by Cara Delevinge for the cover of GQ in 2017.

The Sheer Dress

It does not come as a surprise when I say this dress was also a part of the Fall/Winter 1995 show. The show itself was considered as an iconic moment in fashion history. This sheer tulle with sparkles hugged the body underneath and Mugler topped the look off with a gigantic boa, resulting in a fantastic over the top look. As if the outfit was not enough, it was worn by Claudia Schiffer, who carried the look perfectly.

Honorable Mentions:

To be honest, there could have been hundreds of looks in this article. The final honorable mentions are last but definitely not least. The red Cowboy Suit was part of the Spring Summer 1992 collection. The Sea Serpent look belonged to the Fall Winter 1997 show. Mugler did not hold back for both of these looks, but did he ever for any look? Both looks had the theatrical feel to them. Mugler’s creativity could easily be seen here. As mentioned before, he loved putting a fantastic show on. Today as he is no longer with us, the best we can do is to celebrate this wonderful mind who gave us a brand new look to fashion.

Sources: CRFashionBook, Elle Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar.


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