When one searches the name “Thierry Mugler,” keywords like avant-garde, luxe, and iconic will appear repeatedly, but not many people know the full extent to which his work can be accredited. Thierry Mugler studied ballet, which taught him the value of performance and showmanship. He started his clothing line in 1973 and subsequent collections from the newly established fashion house that began to attract attention. He was one of the first to combine the worlds of fashion, theater, and music in the early ‘80s. Mugler’s creative philosophy was that of a larger-than-life and otherworldly aesthetics. When asked about his fashion philosophy, he said, “Because I think I’m just taking care of human beings, especially making women look beautiful.”
Mugler transformed ordinary women and supermodels into otherworldly and astonishing creatures. Many of his designs use a structure of broad shoulders and a dramatically cinched waist to show his tendency toward hyper-feminine aesthetics. The influence came from the old Hollywood glamor and 1940’s fashion when there were few ways for women to express their sexuality other than through their clothing. His use of corsets and strong shoulders throughout his work implemented a somewhat armor-like style that saluted the strength of these feminine features.
His ways were an avant-garde approach to design and the use of muses to inspire and inform his works was a signature of the brand along with sculpted looks that scream sex appeal. His bold and sexually confident clothes with powerful broad-shouldered and slim-waisted silhouettes became a sensation, defining the era’s “power dressing.” He used materials frequently associated with fetish culture such as latex, leather, and chains that disrupted the cultural norms of fashion for decades to come. He was a renegade whose visions and pursuit of beauty changed fashion forever. Thirty years before Vogue would become more inclusive, Mugler was already working with models of color like Connie Fleming and Naomi Campbell.
After Mugler’s passing, the brand continues to carry Mugler’s name along with his artistic legacy through new faces and designs, along with the empowerment of feminine sexuality.