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Thierry Mugler’s iconic couture gets a massive exhibition

About time too

If you're under the age of about 30, your knowledge of the fashion created by Thierry Mugler will most likely be historic: learned from Tumblr reblogs, ‘liked’ on archive runway Instagrams and devoured on the pages of old magazines. Mugler (who goes by the name Manfred now) sold his label to Clarins in 1997, and stopped producing ready-to-wear in 2003. Several other designers have worked on the label since – currently it’s headed up by David Koma.

Mugler’s original collections are the stuff of fashion legend. The motorcycle bustier that inspired Beyoncé  to ask him to design her tour wardrobe, the sex-rated Metropolis robot look, the incredible corsets created by Mr Pearl (like in the jaw-dropping look above)... the French designer dressed women as otherworldly creatures who exuded power and intimidating sex appeal, but today doesn’t really get the love he deserves. 

Well, until now – thanks to a new exhibition at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, over 130 of Mugler’s most iconic designs will be seen in public (many for the first time) alongside work by famed photographers and archive materials. 

 “I have always been fascinated by the most beautiful animal on the Earth: the human being,” the designer himself said in a statement. “I have used all of the tools at my disposal to sublimate this creature: fashion, shows, perfumes, photography, video…  I am not a person who dwells in the past, but the MMFA, through Nathalie Bondil, was the first to propose me to stage my creations and imagine together a free, global and reinvented artistic vision. How could I refuse?”

“Metamorphoses, super-heroines and cyborgs are already present in Mugler’s work...” commented Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA. “His streamlined and elegant creatures, and dangerous and alluring women, people a universe of glamour and seduction at the frontiers of reality.”

Thierry Mugler – Creatures of Haute Couture will open in February 2019 – hopefully, like the Museum’s previous Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition, it will go on a world tour. We will 100% be buying a ticket.

Lead image:  Thierry Mugler, La Chimère collection, haute couture fall-winter 1997-1998. Model: Adriana Karembeu. La Chimère ensemble: Sheath dress resembling a mythical beast, with an articulated gold body made from scales, feathers, and horsehair embroidered with rhinestones. Photo © Patrice Stable