“You have to have guts to be happy; you have to be brave”.
Thierry Mugler was courageous, most of all. At 73, one of the most brazenly surprising, provocative, talented and extreme couturiers of the last 40 years, French designer Thierry Mugler, passed away yesterday.
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“It is with deep sadness that Maison Mugler announces the passing of Manfred Thierry Mugler. A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and creator of images allowed people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger every day”, with these words the maison he founded announced the designer’s passing through a post on Instagram.
A man who never gave up, who fought against judgments that were too hasty, who got up after falling and who reacted to life’s slaps by becoming a point of reference for women’s power dressing and not only. His models dressed as robots, his clothes inspired by mermaids, insects, film noir or covered with hooks, fully represent the irreplaceable imprint that will never be erased of his unmatched creativity.
Between an enormous wealth of knowledge, boundless creativity and a unique vision has marked the high fashion of the 90s like very few.
Thierry Mugler was born in Strasbourg in 1948 and since he was a child his attentions were focused more on drawing than on school. At the age of 9 he began to study ballet and at 14 he joined the corps de ballet of the Opéra national du Rhi. Dance, however, did not distract him from his passion for drawing, in fact, at the same time he began studying interior design at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg.
At the age of 22 he moved to Paris and began working as a window dresser and in his spare time he designed clothes. In 1973 he presented his first collection Café de Paris, but it did not impress and went almost completely unnoticed. And it is from this failure that Mugler builds his success.
In 1975 he founded the fashion house that bears his name and he completely detaches himself from the stereotypes of the time and begins to imagine a new world, without rules or limits, finding his inspirations far from the world strictly related to couture.
His women are strong, gritty and sexually brazen, characterized by an imagery that winks at a dystopian world: robotic women, automatons, butterflies, elegant soldiers who totally distort the ideal of ethereal, almost princely woman that the high fashion of the time had imposed.
“My work pays homage to the woman and her personality – I give them an armor”.
In 1991, he made a singer-actress, Diana Ross, walk the runway for the first time; in 1992, he directed the video for George Michael’s Too Funky – during which his own show is seen – and created Angel, his first perfume that would become one of the best-selling fragrances of all time.
He retired from the fashion world in 2002 to concentrate on himself and his body, which he transformed by dedicating himself to bodybuilding.
In the last 2/3 years, his work and his creations have returned powerfully to the center of the fashion-related narrative thanks to the likes of Cardi B who wore several of his vintage looks during the Grammy awards, and Kim Kardashian who for the 2019 Met Gala wore a dress made especially for the occasion by Mugler, to arrive at the “Thierry Mugler, Couturissime” exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and opened on September 30, 2021.
“I made clothes because I was looking for something that didn’t exist. I had to try to create my own world”.
Yesterday he left us an atypical utopian, an idealist, one who was never afraid of anything and who always went “in a stubborn and contrary direction”.