Shows & Exhibitions
In Pictures: See Stunning Works by the Late Fashion Designer Thierry Mugler, Who Dressed Kim, Cardi, and Gaga
An exhibition on view at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris traces the career of the French designer, who died on Sunday.
Thierry Mugler, the French fashion designer who married camp, couture, steampunk, science fiction, and S&M, all with his trademark sensuality, died on Sunday, January 23, age 73.
His death was announced by House of Mugler, his eponymous brand.
After declining invitations for several retrospectives, Mugler agreed to a 2019 show, “Thierry Mugler, Couturissime,” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The traveling exhibition is now on view at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris through April.
When it first opened in Montreal in 2019, it coincided with the designer’s return to public life.
At that year’s Grammy awards, rapper Cardi B donned the Mugler’s “Venus” gown (from his 1995/1996 collection), with her pale pink torso surrounded by petals, the rest of the gown encased in black.
At that same year’s Met Gala, Kim Kardashian, who often mined the Mugler archives, appeared on the red carpet in the first new Mugler-made wear in 20 years: a one-of-a-kind latex corset dress dripping in crystals that took eight months to complete.
The exhibition traces Mugler’s career and myriad roles within the art and fashion worlds. (Before he founded his brand in 1974, he created stage costumes for Macbeth, directed films and a music video, published books of photography, and was even a dancer.)
Organized, like an opera, into multiple acts, the show touches on the milestones of his career: from his heyday in the 1980s (when his trademark “Glamazon” design, with its exaggerated silhouette and torpedo-like bustier, defined pop culture); to his more fantastical collections of the 1990s, when he drew inspiration from insects, birds, nymphs, and, in one case, cyborgs.
In addition to Cardi B and Kim Kardashian, Mugler found a new audience with pop stars including Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, who hired him to design the looks for her 2009 I Am… world tour.
“Fashion is still a great tool, because it’s a three-dimensional art,” he told Women’s Wear Daily in 2019. “It’s the most feral form of art, in the best sense of the word, meaning that it touches on the human, and that’s interesting.”
See images from the exhibition below.
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