“We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr. Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022,” the post read, using his full name. “May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Cardi B resembled a pearl emerging from an oyster as she arrived at the 2019 Grammys in a vintage dress from Mugler’s Fall 1995 collection. Credit: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
Born in Strasbourg, France, in 1948, Mugler worked as a freelance designer in Paris before launching his eponymous label in 1974. By the 1980s he had established himself as a major figure in international fashion, with his structural, broad-shouldered designs epitomizing — and helping shape — the decade’s extravagant style.
From metallic robot bodysuits (one of which was worn by Lady Gaga in her music video for “Paparazzi” in 2009) to underwater-themed designs inspired by fish and mermaids, his work always retained a sense of elegance amid the drama. The famous floor-length black dress he designed for Demi Moore’s character in the 1993 movie “Indecent Proposal” proved, if evidence were needed, that he didn’t need bold shapes and colors to craft something iconic.
The black gown that Mugler designed for Demi Moore, for the 1993 movie “Indecent Proposal,” became one of the decade’s most iconic dresses. Credit: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock
Outside fashion, Mugler was a published photographer who directed ads and short films, including a star-studded music video for George Michael’s hit 1992 “Too Funky.” Also a prominent perfumer, Mugler released his hugely popular scent “Angel” that same year, helping to forge a now-established link between luxury fashion and fragrance.
But despite the perfume’s success, Mugler’s ready-to-wear creations had become less commercially viable by the early 2000s, and the designer left the fashion industry to pursue other creative projects. His larger-than-life approach lent itself to the stage, and he designed costumes for Beyoncé’s 2009 “I Am… World Tour” and the Cirque du Soleil production “Zumanity,” among others.
In his later years, Mugler became an avid bodybuilder and began using his first name, Manfred, rather than the middle name he had long been known by.
Model and actor Beverly Johnson wearing Thierry Mugler in Paris in 1990. Credit: ARNAL/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
The designer then came out of high fashion retirement to create a figure-hugging dress for Kardashian to wear at 2019’s Met Gala.
Having turned down several retrospectives at major museums, the designer that year also agreed to work with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on the exhibition “Thierry Mugler, Couturissime,” is currently on show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Tributes began pouring in from the fashion world on Sunday evening, with Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista posting an image of her wearing a dramatic sparkling look from Mugler’s Fall-Winter 1995 collection.
American designer Christian Siriano meanwhile tweeted. “Another Icon lost today. Rest well in ultimate beauty #thierrymugler. You opened many many doors.”