It was no secret that Mugler’s designs embraced dramatic, over-the-top silhouettes, as celebrities yearned for a chance to wear some of his iconic and bold pieces.
After launching his own collection in 1973, Mugler was one of the first designers to open the doors of a fashion show to members of the public, with a mega-event at the Zenith concert venue in 1984. He pushed the boundaries of clothing construction by working with materials like latex, metal and feathers.
During his decades-long career, he worked with the likes of Diana Ross, David Bowie and George Michael. More recently, the designer’s pieces, particularly vintage ones, have been seen on Beyoncé, Cardi B and Kim Kardashian West, among others.
Though Mugler retired from fashion in 2002 to focus on fragrances and costume design, he made certain exceptions, such as designing the looks for Beyoncé’s 2009 world tour and Kardashian West’s “wet couture dress” at the 2019 Met Gala.
Here, WWD breaks down all the biggest moments celebrities have stunned in Mugler. Scroll on for more.
David Bowie performing on “Saturday Night Live” in 1979
The renowned musician was one of the first big celebrities to sport a Mugler creation. Bowie wore a Mugler dress during his appearance on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 1979.
The designer would later also create Bowie’s black tuxedo for his wedding to Iman in 1992.
Diana Ross in Mugler’s 1990 butterfly-inspired fashion show
During the designer’s spring 1991 collection, Diana Ross walked in a sheer jumpsuit embellished with strategically placed sequins, complete with a sheer red train to accentuate her waist.
Ross famously wore plenty of Mugler’s creations in the ’80s and ’90s.
George Michael’s “Too Funky” music video in 1992
George Michael, Mugler and ’90s supermodels. What more can we ask for?
For the singer’s “Too Funky” music video, Mugler designed and created the outfits worn by Linda Evangelista, Eva Herzigova, Nadja Auermann and Tyra Banks, among others, which featured sensual lace dresses, corsets and catsuits.
Beyoncé for Her “I Am…World Tour” in 2009
In 2009, Beyoncé personally tapped the French designer as artistic director for her “I Am…World Tour” outfits, after discovering his work at an exhibition at the Museum of Metropolitan Art. The singer asked Mugler to design costumes for herself and her dancers, creating a total of 58 looks.
The singer also wore the Harley-Davidson corset featured in George Michael’s “Too Funky” music video for her “I Am…World Tour” promotional video.
Lady Gaga in Her “Telephone” Music Video
The singer dived into the Mugler archives for her 2010 music video for hit song “Telephone,” which featured Beyoncé. In one of the scenes, Lady Gaga is seen wearing a dramatic, sculpted suit-dress and matching oversize hat from the designer’s 1995 collection.
Cardi B at the 2019 Grammys
One of the most unforgettable moments in red carpet history has to be none other than Cardi B’s jaw-dropping appearance at the 2019 Grammy Awards in a vintage Thierry Mugler Venus sheath dress from 1995.
The fashion look was months in the making, starting in September 2018 when the rapper’s stylist, Kollin Carter, messaged the Mugler brand on Instagram. Carter and Cardi B were soon after invited to Mugler creative director Casey Cadwallader’s debut runway show the next month and visited his studio to look through the brand archives.
Carter was dead set on the Venus dress, stating to WWD: “From the moment I saw it, I knew it was going to be a debatable moment, some people would love it and some people would hate it and that’s everything we’re about when it comes to fashion. It’s meant to create a conversation.”
Later that night, Cardi B changed into a white dress from Mugler’s 1997 collection as she accepted her Grammy Award for Best Rap Artist.
Kim Kardashian West at the 2019 Met Gala
Of all the over-the-top, statement-making Met Gala looks in 2019, Kardashian West made waves with her custom wet-look latex corseted dress by Mugler. The designer emerged from retirement to create a one-off design for the reality star-entrepreneur, creating a dress that reportedly took eight months to make.
In September, ahead of the opening of his new exhibition, Thierry Mugler spoke with WWD about what it was like to work with Kardashian West.
“She’s truly a self-made woman, and she says so herself. She says, ‘Not bad for someone who has no talent, right?’ Well, her great talent above all is to have an incredible instinctive intelligence for business,” the designer said. “Her business sense is incredible and she’s constantly evolving and transforming, always at a very high level.”
Cardi B at the Opening of Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2021
The rapper attended the “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” exhibition during Paris Fashion Week, wowing the crowd in an extravagant form-fitting, red sequined gown from the Mugler 1995 couture collection, which featured a plunging neckline, a matching cape and feathers fanning out in a peacock-like fashion. She topped off the look with matching gloves, a statement ruby necklace and sparkly red eyebrows.
Later on that night, she changed into a second vintage Mugler look, wearing a black leather corset and a sheer maxiskirt. She paired the outfit with matching structured leather arm sleeves and black patent boots.
Manfred Thierry Mugler told WWD more about working with Cardi B these last few years.
“I’m interested in people with strong personalities who know how to use that and invent something new. Cardi B is extremely sophisticated in her own way, she really takes it to the max,” he said. “She has pushed the sexy ‘ghetto girl’ aesthetic, with the fake nails, and the body language is just extraordinary — she’s taken it to the extreme and it’s incredibly effective.
“When I dressed her for the Grammy Awards in 2019, people were blown away,” he continued. “Her performance was incredible and people were stunned, because the direction, the lighting, the choreography — everything was flawless.”
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