Thierry Mugler: Couturissime
Exhibition at Kunsthalle München, DE
03.04. – 28.02.2021

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime, exhibition at Kunsthalle München

Lady Gaga im Video zum Song »Telephone« (The Fame Monster Album), 2010, Regie: Jonas Åkerlund
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Kollektion Anniversaire des 20 ans, Prêt-à-Porter Herbst/Winter 1995–1996
Courtesy of Haus of Gaga


For the first time in Germany, the Kunsthalle München is presenting an exhibition about the French creator Thierry Mugler. It is initiated, produced and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Maison Mugler. The exhibition is curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

This spectacularly staged retrospective presents the multifaceted work of this visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer. It showcases more than 150 haute couture and prêt-à-porter outfi ts, stage costumes and accessories, videos, photographs, design sketches, and archival material created between 1977 and 2014. Some 100 works by famous fashion photographers who have staged Mugler’s creations, from Helmut Newton (1920–2004) to David LaChapelle (*1963), round out the exhibition. In the early 1970s, Mugler, who was trained as a classical ballet dancer, revolutionized fashion by countering the fl owing bohemian looks of the hippie era with morphological and futuristic cuts as well as sculptural, elegant, and form-fi tting silhouettes. With his designs, Mugler lent heroic strength to the people he once described as “fragile, beautiful creatures”. In times of cocooning, of retreating from a world perceived as unmanageable and threatening into a domestic private life, Mugler created glamorous armor that transformed women into superheroines by borrowing from the world of animals and myths as well as from the universe of modern technology and architecture. He experimented with innovative materials such as metal, Plexiglas, fake fur, vinyl and latex. “My only measure is excess,” said Mugler of his extravagant creations. His designs were worn by stars such as Diana Ross (*1944), Liza Minelli (*1946), David Bowie (1947–2016), Céline Dion (*1968) and Lady Gaga (*1986); he also created costumes for tours and videos of stars like Beyoncé (*1981).Mugler recruited collaborators from all over the world to realize his fantastic ideas, including car painters and leather craftsmen, printing technicians, photographers, scientists, and artists. His fashion is characterized by a sophisticated mixture of high and popular culture, in which refi ned haute couture meets drag show drama. It moves between elitism and mass appeal, between tradition and transgression.

A brilliant storyteller with a penchant for theatrical performance, Mugler has created some of the most spectacular fashion shows of his time. He designed costumes for the production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth put on by the Comédie-Française and the Festival d’Avignon, as well as for Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity. He also staged his own revues, such as the Mugler Follies in Paris and The Wyld at Berlin’s Friedrichstadt-Palast. As a photographer and fi lmmaker, he directed the video clip »Too Funky« by British singer George Michael (1963–2016) as well as short fi lms with Isabelle Huppert (*1953) and Juliette Binoche (*1964). Mugler’s work is distinguished by numerous collaborations with big names of the art world – such as interior designer Andrée Putman (1935–2013) and well-known photographers like Helmut Newton (1920–2004), Guy Bourdin (1928–1991), Dominique Issermann (*1947), Herb Ritts (1952–2002), Ellen von Unwerth (*1954), David LaChapelle (*1963) and Pierre & Gilles (*1950 und *1953). The exhibition presents the various aspects of Mugler’s art as a sequence of eight opera acts.

more information: 

Alan Strutt, Yasmin Le Bon, Palladium, London, 1997
Evening Standard Magazin, Oktober 1997
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Kollektion La Chimère, Robe »La Chimère«, Haute Couture Herbst/Winter 1997–1998
Foto: © Alan Strutt


David LaChapelle, Danie Alexander
London Sunday Times, Mai 1998
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Kollektion Jeu de Paume, Haute Couture Frühjahr/Sommer 1998
Foto: © David LaChapelle


Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung
Theatinerstraße 8
(in den Fünf Höfen)
80333 München
T +49 (0)89 / 22 44 12

Go back