Radical Chic: Dazzling Thierry Mugler Exhibition Opens in Montreal


When we think of Thierry Mugler, we immediately think of Beyoncé’s 2009 “I Am…” world tour, and that amazing motorcycle bodysuit armor. However, there is so much more to the exalted designer – and it’s all about to be on display. Indeed, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime opens this month at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) – and it’s utterly jaw-dropping.

Mugler has done it all: couturier, director, photographer, and perfumer. And the MMFA will be displaying it in all its glory, exhibiting more than 130 perception-challenging designs created between 1973 and 2001. Most have not been shown previously. Along with the threads, many unseen archive documents and photos by notorious collaborators will also be on show.

The expansive survey will reveal the multiple universes of Mugler, particularly the ready to-wear and haute couture creations with morphological and futuristic cuts; glamorous, sculptural and elegant silhouettes with super-heroine shoulders; and a corseted waist dressing a sublime, sensual and powerful woman in constant metamorphosis.



Indeed, he has created some of the most dazzling fashion spectacles throughout his career, including costuming of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie Française at the Festival d’Avignon, and the Zumanity show by the Cirque du Soleil. His celebrity client roster reads like a register of entertainment royalty: Diana Ross, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Liza Minelli, Céline Dion, and of course, Queen B(eyoncé).

But even beyond fashion and design, Mugler applied his magic to photography and film. He helmed the iconic 1990 video Too Funky by the late George Michael, as well as short films starring the considerable likes of Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. All will be showcased at the MMFA.

The exhibition is a tribute to Thierry Mugler in every sense of his singular being and unparalleled accomplishments. It all comes courtesy of curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot (who also organized the initial 2011 Gaultier exhibit), under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. For fashion fans, it’s absolutely unmissable.

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime will run from March 2 – September 8, 2019.


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