THROWBACK THURSDAY: Thierry Mugler Spring/Summer 1997

“I used fashion to express myself as much as I could. But at some point, it was not enough.” Mugler said this to Eric Wilson, a New York Times reporter who was doing a story on his changing looks and his ongoing battles with Clarins (who has owned his name since 1997) in 2010.

It’s clear from that interview that Mr.Mugler hasn’t dealt with the death of his label in 2003 very well. He has tried to literally become someone else, by changing his looks dramatically through exercise and plastic surgery as well as demanding to be called Manfred. Our guess is he probably associated himself so much to his brand that when it went under (reportedly due to some major losses) he couldn’t deal with the failure.

Regardless of his personal issues, the fact that Thierry Mugler was a designer way ahead of his time is undeniable. His aesthetic is still being discussed and used as inspiration today. Beyoncé was so moved by one of his motorcycle bustiers at the 2008 costume institute exhibit she decided to hire him as a artistic advisor and costumer designer for her 2009 world tour: I am… World Tour.


(Left Row – Top to Bottom) Image 01, Image 02, Image 03. (Right Row – Top to Bottom) Image 01, Image 02, Image 03, Image 04.

Mugler started his own label in 1974, followed by his very first boutique at Paris’ place des victoires in 1978.In terms of stylish, structured, theatrical garments dripping in opulence, there was no one to compare him to in the 1980s and 1990s. Mugler defined those two decades with his architectural designs and use of the periods top supermodels; Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford, Jerry Fall, Iman, they all walked in his shows. Take a look at some of the greatest moments of his Haute Couture shows.

Here at Télio, we’re particularly obsessed with his Spring/Summer Haute Couture show from 1997. His use of color, as well as his beautifully grotesque insect theme gets us every time. There’s a certain cartoonish nature to his designs that crosses over perfectly into the real world. It’s over the top, yet elegant, it’s borderline tacky but so well constructed you can’t deny it’s beauty. There is something for everyone, fringe, fur, sequins, mustaches, pencil skirts, large hats, veils and Jerry Hall! What designer can pull off a 47 minute fashion show today? No one! See the full show here:

Fashion shows just aren’t the same these days! We would give anything to go back in time and be at one of these shows! The level of craftsmanship and theatricality is unparalleled.

The Thierry Mugler label was reborn in 2010 as MUGLER with new artistic directors at the helm, but it just wasn’t the same. No one will be able to match the level of brilliance exerted by Thierry himself.

Are you a fan of his work? Do you have a favourite collection of his? Was this the first time you saw one of his full shows? Share your thoughts!

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