Thierry Mugler’s Couturissme: Between Fashion and Fantasy

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Thierry Mugler’s Couturissme: Between Fashion and Fantasy
“Couturissime,” the exhibition that Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) dedicates to retired couturier Thierry Mugler, is so much more than a fashion retrospective: It is a journey into a fantasy world, an exploration of a creative mind that shook fashion to the core and then moved on, but whose lasting influence is inspiring to this day. Manfred Thierry Mugler, born in 1948 in Strasbourg, eastern France, began a career in ballet at the Opéra National du Rhin, while at the same time studying design at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts. The young man soon left to move to Paris, where he channeled his boundless creativity into fashion, working as a freelance designer for several brands in France and abroad. It was the early 1970s, and the capital offered him not only sexual freedom (he was openly gay) but also the opportunity of working at the epicenter of fashion, with the ready—to-wear revolution changing the market for garments. Exquisite evening gown with a bubble cape (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong Mugler launched his eponymous brand in 1973. Never one to shy away from provocation, his silhouettes presented an ideal woman who embraced her sensuality and used it as a weapon. As the 1980s kicked in, shoulders and hips became oversized, while waistlines shrunk. His shows, long before the excesses of Victoria’s Secret, were as outlandish as Mugler himself. An outlandish couture creation from the 1990s (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong By 1992, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (the governing body of French couture) invited him to present his first couture show. Designing clothes for a no expenses-spared clientele unleashed Mugler’s imagination even further. From sexy insects to sensual car bodywork, the couturier blurred the lines between fashion and theater. Gisele Bündchen wearing a futuristic corset (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong
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Lead photo credit : Couturissime, the show at MAD Paris (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong

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Sarah Bartesaghi Truong has lived, studied and worked in Milan, Paris and London. Her lifelong passion for art in all its forms and her entrepreneurial dreams were the catalyst for a career change: she left the world of investment banking to go back to school, at the Sotheby’s Institute of London. Ten years ago, she moved back to Paris, the ideal location for an art-lover. As an Italian in Paris, she decided she would keep playing the tourist in her adoptive home town, always on the lookout for the many wonders the French capital has to offer to the curious explorer. VeniVidiParis, the company she founded, plans curated itineraries in the French capital and its vicinity for travellers wishing to discover the city’s vibrant art scene, but not only. Take a look at her recent discoveries on her Instagram feed, @venividiparis, or contact her at [email protected] for help planning your next Parisian vacation.