I’ll preface this post by saying that, although aware of Mr. Mugler’s creations, I haven’t always been a huge fan. Thierry’s designs (or at least the few I’d seen online) gave me the feeling of museum pieces:
Great to see! Buuut I don’t really need them home.
As opposed to Monsieur Dior’s museum creations, which I would pretty much go bankrupt to have hanging in my closet.
Well, I can say that I am now a convert!
Thanks to the good folks at the Rotterdam Kunsthal, who organized the Couturissime exhibit, I’ve been thoroughly educated in regards to Thierry Mugler’s fascinating influence on the fashion world.
So if you’re a fan of his work, wanting to see more of his designs, this post is for you! And if you’re simply looking to learn more about him for your general knowledge, keep on reading.
Here are 5 major things that you can learn at the Thierry Mugler Couturissime exhibit!
He is a theatre lover
One of the major reasons I can’t say I’ve dreamed of owning Thierry’s creations, is that I always found them too over the top, too impractical, too… theatrical! I mean, unless you are an excentric celebrity, where are you meant to wear these things???
Well, as it turns out, you aren’t!
As is clear from his creations, Mugler is a maven of the stage. And not simply as a costume whisperer, but instead, as a perfomer. The embodiment of a true theatre lover.
A former dancer, his sensibilities were formed in the sphere of the extraordinary, the spectacular and the disruptive. Which meant that his calling always remained somewhere further than simply in the fashion universe.
Beyond what we all recognise as clothing, accessories and shoes, his aesthetic universe showcases multiple sources of fantastic inspiration. His creations stem from the natural as much as the technological, and from the past as much as the future.
He combines innovative designs with nuanced vintage creations seamlessly, producing something that is his own unique, inimitable style. A style not ever intended to be practical, or mundane. Meant instead to be unwearable-but… in the absolute best way!?
His women are strong
As much as I loved the sweet, feminine 50’s designs of the Designer of Dreams London exhibit, Thierry Mugler Couturissime won me over with a different type of female look.
Bold. Austere. Brazen.
Strong, womanly silhouettes I absolutely ate up! Because they embodied the kind of aesthetic I 100% adherre to: powerful, without sacrificing an ounce of femininity.
Either theatrical queens, futuristic cyborgs or auguste glamazons, the Mugler women always, always look strong. Unapologetically themselves, they command attention through their mere presence (and fabulous choice of garments, naturally).
And this was the first point that turned me into a Mugler convert.
His elegance is shocking
If, when you think “elegance”, you picture solely classic dresses, modest lengths and a pearl necklace thrown in for good measure, then you need to witness Mugler’s elegance.
A breath of fresh air (and breathtaking all at once), his designs are not understated or demure, but rather blazingly tasteful. They exude confidence, and a stringent elegance.
After all, in the words of the designer himself:
“Elegance is guts, it’s nerve…
In the end elegance is
a way of
inhabiting one’s body in action.”
So if you’re looking to impart a loftier air to your wardrobe, consider taking a page out of Thierry’s book. Even if you can’t afford his items (pre-owned is certainly worth a look!), Pin some of these images to your style inspo moodboard.
Start with the smaller details to recreate these looks. A vinyl red lip, a magnificent hat, or a bold pair of reinterpreted pearl earrings…
His designs are certainly inspirational-and aspirational-for women who are not afraid to put their stiletto clad foot down.
He breathes sensuality into every design
Sensuality plays a major part in Mugler’s designer style. And it is displayed in a way that is as stringent as it is surprising.
He is not the man of explicit dresses, so blatantly bearing that they leave nothing to the imagination. Nor is he a designer of modest, hum-drum or saccharine items.
Picture instead a black dress, with a very proper front… which just happens to have a very revealing derriere decolete. Or a supremely glamorous, floor length bodycon dress, complete with riding crop.
Yup… Mugler’s the name, and raising eyebrows is his game!
But if these depictions turn you beady-eyed rather than horrified, know that you’ve certainly found your go-to designer! Because there really is no one like him in the game.
He is controversial
From his perfumes, to his designs, to his own image and presentation, Thierry Mugler is nothing if not controversial.
He famously took the reins from fashion photographer Helmut Newton while creating the visuals of his advertising campaign. (Their collaboration nevertheless survived for another 20 years.)
He brought forth the “glamazon” look, in a time when everyone else was deep into the hippie, flower-power movement.
He took inspiration from the animal kingdom to bring to life his most flamboyant designs. Those made for the “magnificent animals” born, like himself, to live on stage.
He helped pioneer the gourmand fragrance type with his “Angel” perfume, and coined the head-turning “Alien” perfume.
He always went against the grain, and did not really mind whose feathers he ruffled. And that is one of the things that make Thierry Mugler uniquely brilliant.
I hope my post convinced you to take this Sunday evening off, and look up some of Mugler’s advertorials, over a decadent, chilli spiced, dark hot chocolate. You just might feel inspired enough to book a ticket to the next showing of Couturissime!
Also, I’m curious to know which ones of the two exhibits I covered you enjoyed more: was it Mugler or Dior? If you know of any others taking place in Europe in the near future, I’d absolutely appreciate a heads up! I would love to cover them here 🙂
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