Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

February 25, 2019 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in Exhibitions, News & Events by

David LaChapelle, Danie Alexander ; London Sunday Times, May 1998. Photo: © David LaChapelle. Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Jeu de Paume collection, haute couture spring/summer 1998.

From March 2 through September 8, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is featuring Thierry Mugler: Couturissime. This first retrospective of creations by the couturier, director, photographer and perfumer will showcase more than 140 ensembles along with a hundred fashion images by Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth and Mugler himself.

“I have always been fascinated by the most beautiful animal on Earth: the human being. 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 to me to stage my creations and imagine together a free, global and reinvented artistic vision. How could I refuse?” said creator Manfred Thierry Mugler.”

Over the course of his career, Thierry Mugler has had many collaborations with filmmakers, architects such as Andrée Putman for his boutiques, and renowned photographers and artists, such as Helmut Newton, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, David LaChapelle and Pierre & Gilles, many of whose works will be presented in the exhibition. Thierry Mugler: Couturissime marks the Helmut Newton Foundation’s first participation, since its inauguration in Berlin in 2013, as a lender to an exhibition designed by a foreign museum.

As a photographer and filmmaker, Mugler directed the emblematic 1990s video “Too Funky” by British singer George Michael, as well as short films starring actresses Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. Thierry Mugler has staged some of the most spectacular fashion shows of his time. He created the costumes for the staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie-Française and the Festival d’Avignon, and the Zumanity show by the Cirque du Soleil. He has dressed a galaxy of stars, such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli and, in Quebec, Diane Dufresne and Céline Dion. He has also created costumes for Mylène Farmer and Beyoncé for their tours and videos.

Ellen von Unwerth, Eva Herzigová, behind the scenes at the Thierry Mugler fashion show, Paris, 1992. Photo : © Ellen von Unwerth. Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Les Cow-boys collection, prêt-à-porter spring/summer 1992.

Helmut Newton, Jerry Hall and Thierry Mugler, Paris, 1996. Photo: © The Helmut Newton Estate.