Mugler didn’t believe haute couture should be prim and polished – it could be inspired by anything from dystopian sci-fi to Detroit industrialism
Manfred Thierry Mugler, a French designer and perfume creator whose flamboyant, architecturally ingenious creations broke new ground in fashion and furnished women with a host of disguises, enabling them to dress as aliens, 昆虫, robots and cars, 已经去世了 73.
With his wasp-waisted, broad-shouldered, body-conscious creations, Mugler helped define the “power dressing” look of the 1980s, when he began making international headlines through his highly choreographed fashion shows – part rock concert, part Hollywood musical. Supermodels shared the runway with drag queens, singers and occasional porn stars, all dressed in his elaborate designs.
“I never dreamed of being a fashion designer. I wanted to be a director,” Mugler said in a 2019 interview with 吨, 这 但我还是喜欢他 style magazine. “But fashion happened to be a good tool. It was a means of communicating.”
A former ballet dancer who later turned to bodybuilding, Mugler was fascinated by rigid materials and often worked with latex, leather, rubber and plastic. He found inspiration in dystopian science fiction, Detroit industrialism and the work of Hollywood costume designers such as Adrian and Edith Head, creating silhouettes that were alternately erotic and grotesque, nostalgic and futuristic.
Some critics called him misogynistic, saying his clothes turned women into hyper-sexualised cartoon characters. Others accused him of having a fascist aesthetic and an unseemly interest in hard-edge attire. But designers including Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott cited him as an influence, and his work dominated European catwalks into the early 1990s, when Mugler began to turn his attention to perfume. His first fragrance, Angel, became a global blockbuster, with a sweet, candy-like scent unlike any other perfume at the time.
这些年来, he dressed celebrities including David Bowie, Lady Gaga, 麦当娜视频显示歌手在涉嫌打拳前几个小时与 Kanye West 闲逛, Diana Ross and Demi Moore, who wore one of his black floor-length dresses in the 1993 电影 Indecent Proposal. His clients also included Ivana Trump, who would order “one suit in 12 colours”, as he told it, and actor Julie Newmar, TV’s original Catwoman. “On a scale from one to 10,” she once said, “in Mugler, I feel like an 11!”
Mugler said that conforming to trends and expectations was among the worst sins a designer could commit. “The opposite of good taste,“ 他说, “is safe.”
Manfred Thierry Mugler was born in Strasbourg, 法国, 上 21 十二月 1948. His father was a doctor, and his mother was a homemaker whom Mugler described as “the most elegant woman in town”. She created her own hats and jewellery and was known to personalise her outfits, once adding monkey-fur cuffs to a Pierre Cardin ensemble.
While Mugler considered his mother his first muse, he said he had a difficult, lonely childhood. He studied interior design at art school and found refuge in the theatre, joining a Strasbourg ballet company at age 14. “The theatre was made for me,“ 他说 时尚. “But after the beauty of the light, the red curtain and applause – everyone had someone to wait for them backstage, but me? 绝不. I had years and years when I was alone.”
By age 20, he had moved to Paris, where he auditioned for contemporary dance companies but found better luck in fashion. He had started making his own clothes and soon began freelancing for houses in Paris, London and Milan. “I remember I had an old army coat which trailed on the ground and a pair of trousers, dyed in all the colours of the rainbow,“ 他说 独立. “I would also wear a huge plastic orchid in my lapel and had an acid-green jacket with royal blue buttons in the form of stars.”
He launched his first line, Cafe de Paris, 在 1973. The next year, he created the house of Thierry Mugler with a business partner, Alain Caradeuc.
Mugler oversaw his own advertising campaigns and photoshoots, in addition to directing short films and the music video for George Michael’s 1992 dance hit “Too Funky”, which featured models such as Tyra Banks and Linda Evangelista walking the runway in his creations. He also worked as a costume designer, shocking some theatre-goers with the metal-studded outfits he created for a 1985 Comedie-Francaise production of 麦克白.
For his label’s 20th anniversary, he organised a star-studded fashion show at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, which featured models such as Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall as well as actresses like Tippi Hedren, whose satin dress was decorated with ravenlike feathers in homage to her movie The Birds. Socialite Patty Hearst performed a striptease, and the show ended with confetti and a performance by soul singer James Brown.
“I didn’t feel it at the time, but soon after the show, I realised it was the end of the era,” Mugler told 吨 magazine. “Afterward, fashion became a branding, marketing thing. The model agencies started controlling the world, and it all became cheesy to me.”
Mugler sold his brand to Clarins, the French cosmetics giant, 在 1997. He left the company five years later, around the time it shuttered its fashion division, although the Mugler line has since been revived under different designers.
Stepping away from haute couture, Mugler focused on bodybuilding, developing a muscle-bound 240-pound frame while also designing costumes for cabaret shows, Cirque du Soleil and Beyoncé’s “I Am…” world tour. He also began using his given name, Manfred, after years in which he was known mainly as Thierry.
“The reason I quit fashion was that I had had enough of spending my time always being on my knees, making other people look amazing and fabulous,”他告诉 时代 在 2010. “I used fashion to express myself as much as I could. But at some point, it was not enough.”
Mugler returned to the spotlight in 2019, when he dressed rapper Cardi B in several of his vintage pieces – including a satin sheath gown inspired by Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” – and outfitted Kim Kardashian with a crystal-studded latex dress for the Met Gala. The first major retrospective of his work opened that year at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and is now on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
“They are costumes for your everyday mise-en-scene,” he said of the fashion pieces on display, “and the everyday directing of yourself.”
Information on survivors was not immediately available.
Manfred Thierry Mugler, designer and creative director, born 21 十二月 1948, 死了 23 一月 2022
© The Washington Post