Visionary couturier, director and photographer: Thierry Mugler created a world of elegance, extravagance and exuberance. His multiple universes are now accessible to the public. The Kunsthal Rotterdam presents the first retrospective on Mugler in Europe. It focuses on Mugler’s ready-to-wear and haute couture creations. Initiated, produced and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ( MMFA ), in collaboration with the Clarins Group and the Maison Mugler, the exhibition’s world premiere launched in Montreal in March 2019.

Alan Strutt, Yasmin Le Bon, Palladium, London, 1997; Evening Standard Magazine, October1997. Photo: © Alan Strutt. Outfit by Thierry Mugler, La Chimère collection, La Chimère gown, haute couture F/W 1997–1998.

The exhibition Thierry Mugler: Couturissime showcases more than 140 ensembles, most of them on display for the first time, created between 1973 and 2001 by the French couturier, as well as many never-before seen accessories and stage costumes, clips and videos, archival documents and sketches.

A hundred works by the greatest contemporary fashion photographers such as Avedon, Bourdin, Goude, LaChapelle, Newton, Ritts and Issermann round out the exhibition.

Jerry Hall graces the cover of the book Thierry Mugler: Couturissime


Couturissime traces the path of an exceptional creator who revolutionized fashion with morphological and futuristic cuts, and glamorous, sculptural and elegant silhouettes; strict lines and superheroine shoulders; and a corseted waist dressing a sublime, sensual and powerful woman in constant metamorphosis. The exhibition offers a dive into Mugler’s singular imagination, to encounter by turns his perfectionism, Hollywood-style prestige, dreams, exotic creatures, eroticism, and science fiction. It explains his audacious choices, such as using innovative materials in high fashion like metal, fake fur, vinyl and latex.

“I have always been fascinated by the most beautiful animal on earth: the human being. I have used all of the tools at my disposal to sublimate this creature: fashion, shows, perfumes, photography, video,” says Mugler.

The Thierry Mugler haute couture exhibition is on display until 8 March 2020 / Photo © David LaChapelle


“Metamorphosis, superheroines and cyborgs are already present in Mugler’s work: he perceived very early the transhuman revolutions on the way”, says Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA. “His streamlined and elegant creatures, and dangerous and alluring women, people a universe of glamour and seduction at the frontiers of reality.”

Photo © Patrice Stable


More infos on the Thierry Mugler haute couture exhibition Couturissime at the Kunsthal Rotterdam.

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