July 16, 2009
Wow, I can’t believe I have yet to write about this man whose styling has given Beyonce her futuristic and now trademark look. You see, I love Beyonce, so I absolutely love any designer that blesses her with costumes that would define her Sasha Fierce (and sometimes Beyonce) persona.
In his case, we definitely can not judge a book by its cover. But what we can judge Thierry by is his work, which is unique and truly artistic. Personally, when I look at his sketches and his designs I think of Picasso and his cubist (is that a word) paintings. His designs also add in a mixture of robotic characteristics, which in some circumstances could be unflattering for women, but Thierry knows what he is doing. He was so far ahead of his time when he began that not many could actually appreciate some of his best known work. His designs are what people in the 80’s might have believed we would all be wearing in this time of 2009. Heck, I can’t understand why we aren’t all wearing his designs already on a daily basis.
Born in 1948 in Strasbourg, France, Thierry Mugler had an inkling for fashion design all his life. Like Walter Baker, he started off on a different career path , but Theirry’s was a little more unconventional. He trained in ballet while studying design and making clothing for his friends. He attended Lycée Fustel de Coulange, 1960-65, and the School of Fine Arts, Strasbourg, 1966-67.
He also designed on the side while he was a window designer in Paris in 1970. His first lime Cafe de Paris was not made until 1973. He made a woman’s line in 1975, and a men’s line in 1978. His runway garments were really extreme and exaggerated. Unfortunately , his fashion house did not last through the 90’s. And in 2003 his couture collection was shut down.
Before his line was closed he managed to, in 1985, create the costumes for the musical “Emilie Jolie”. He designed clothing that was hip with the times, bat winged shirts and lots of Lycra.
He didn’t let the collapse of his fashion line stop his creative genes. He went into business with a skincare company called Clarins to make fragrances, which Mugler’s company is best known for today. Sometimes he even outsells Chanel No. 5 in France, how unimaginable is that? But honestly, I am def. sure all his money comes from perfume. Check out this list of fragrances( and I am not even sure it’s the whole thing):
|Angel||1992||Women||The first oriental gourmand fragrance[vague]; the #1 perfume in France and the #8 perfume in the US (according to NPD Research[vague])|
|A*Men||1996||Men||Known as “Angel Men” in US/Canada and Middle East due to trademark issues|
|Innocent||1998||Women||Known as “Angel Innocent” until 2004|
|Mugler Cologne||2001||Unisex||Inspired by a soap; contains proprietary “S-molecule”[vague]|
|B*Men||2004||Men||Currently[vague] being phased out of retail distribution|
|Angel Garden of Stars||2005-06||Women||Floral versions of Angel (peony, violet, lily, and rose)|
|Alien||2005||Women||First new Mugler women’s fragrance not based on the Angel concept; modeled by Tina Baltzer|
|A*Men Summer Flash||2006||Men||Men’s fragrance based on A*Men|
|Mugler Cologne Summer Flash||2006||Unisex||Adds a cooling ingredient to Mugler Cologne|
|Innocent Summer Flash||2006||Women||Women’s fragrance based on Innocent|
|Innocent Secret||2006||Women||Made for Victoria’s Secret stores|
|Perfume: The Coffret||2006||Unisex||Movie tie-in to Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; consists of 15 fragrances; price $700 US|
|ICE*Men||2007||Men||Faced by Greg Plitt; launched worldwide in April 2007 (March 2008 in US)|
|Eau de Star||2007||Women||Launched worldwide in April 2007 (October 2007 in US)|
|Miror Miror!||2007||Women||A line of five women’s fragrances; limited distribution and priced higher than other Mugler products|
|Innocent Illusion||2008||Women||A flanker of Innocent|
|A*Men Pure Coffee||2008||Men||Flanker to A*Men with Arabica Coffee note|
|Angel Sunessence||2009||Women||Summer light version of Angel|
|Alien Sunessence||2009||Women||Summer light version of Alien|
Outside of the consumer market, he has signed up with Cirque du Soleil in 2003 for its show “Zumanity” which is Cirque’s first show for an adult audience. Good, don’t let all those muscles go to waste !
He also published two books on his designs Thierry Mugler (1988) and Fashion Fetish Fantasy (1998).
, inspired by Stalinist propaganda ( hmm). He directed a video in 1992 for George Michael’s Too Funky featuring Mugler’s famous motorcycle dress.
Let’s talk about his biggest venture here in the US– collaborating with Beyonce to do all her costumes for the multi-million dollar I AM.. Tour. Beyonce chose him after viewing his designs in the Metropolitan Museum for the Art’s Costume Institute Superheroes exhibit in May of 2008. ( Hmm I wonder if that inspired some of the songs on her album) Mugler will make 58 pieces for Beyonce, her dancers, and her band. However, he won’t contribute all of her looks, she has to save room for her Dereon Line. He will serve as the creative advisor of the tour, designing some lighting and even choreography for her shows. Additionally he will direct three portions of the production, Dangerously in Love, Ave Maria, and The Finale. ( Let me just add, those were the best parts of the show, loved it! )
Thankfully, Mugler’s fashion house has revived itself and come back in full effect. We can see his influences in many other designers line Balenciaga, Dolce and Gabbana and McQueen. However no one has managed to come close to his style. He is the only designer I know that can make an outfit which needs no one accessory. Not a hat, not an earring, not a bracelet, nothing. No wonder during the Beyonce concert all her jewelery was flying off, her Thierry Mugler outfits were simply rejecting them.
Thierry has done everything from design, dancing, photography, publishing, and made fragrances. He hasn’t let anything stand in the line of his desires and dreams. We all need to take note from him, because even though his line did fail at one point it came back stronger than ever. Additionally, he didn’t quit on life after that set back, but he moved on and kept the creative juices flowing. In recognition of his hard work and dedication Thierry Mugler was invited to sit on the Comite Colbert; thereby joining the top 75 French companies that share the passion for excellence, creativity, and luxury in the production of their merchandise.
However, his contributions to the fashion world have been amazing and untouchable. He has worked with the idea of shaping a perfect woman, not perfecting the shape of a woman, which is very different. His designs are well engineered and structured making them look anything but cheap or affordable. His strong, bold, and non conforming designs are unmatched in the industry today. Have you ever heard of a Thierry Mugler look a like/knock off? Yeah, me neither.
So Thierry, thanks for staying strong through all your struggles and obstacles. You have taught me that no matter how many things go wrong, so much more can go right if you stay focused. You also have earned my highest praise for your work on Beyonce’s wardrobe and concert. You have totally revamped her look and her appeal and frankly I love it. You’re the modern day Picasso if he designed clothing and I wouldn’t want you in any other way.
p.s. How about coming out with a work out tape… I could def use some of your muscles!