Before Marco Marco had RuPaul’s Drag Race legends stomping down the runway in marvelously inventive fashions, it was French fashion visionary/provocateur Thierry Mugler who took the glamazons that served as the archetypes of nightlife and put them front and center under the lights, sending them strutting down the runway in his signature high concept, fashion-forward creations. Manfred Thierry Mugler passed away on January 23rd at the age of 73. While his passing leaves a profound and aching space in the galaxy of fashion, it was his passion for impeccable tailoring and detailed construction that will be impossible to recreate.
Thierry Mugler was a core shaker, a disrupter, a visionary, and a fashion maven. When fellow designers were still playing it safe with their collection choices, Mugler was crafting sharp silhouettes and exaggerating shoulders, encouraging the women that the considered muses (fashion goddesses like Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington among them) to be much more than the walking mannequins that so many considered them to be. One Mugler-helmed production that hit the mainstream was the George Michael video for Michael’s throbbing 1992 hit Too Funky, which Michael hand-picked Mugler to direct. Set (where else) at a fashion show, Mugler crafted a high concept and couture heavy production, complete with cameos from nightlife legend Joey Arias to ‘Catwoman’ actress Julie Newmar, to fashion icons like Niki Taylor and Linda Evangelista going down Mugler’s runway in one of a kind creations that would go on to become true fashion moments. (The full oral history on the production that Vogue crafted in 2016 and republished after Mugler’s passing is a must read).
It goes without saying that the world of drag was rocked with Mugler’s passing. Drag legend Lypsinka wrote on Instagram that “Thierry Mugler has died. Never thought I would write that”. New York City legend and former Zumanity emcee Edie wore Mugler costumes on the Sin City stage during the Cirque du Soleil show’s thirteen year run. Edie said in part that she was “honored to wear your beautiful costumes”.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Star, legendary drag performer, and fashion tastemaker Detox is known as a passionate fan of Mugler’s design aesthetic, owning numerous Mugler pieces and having an extensive conversation with AnOther, where Detox spoke of her passion for Mugler and his influence on her career. Following his death, she posted on Instagram saying “I honestly don’t even know what to say…the fashion world has lost such a force…I have lost my star. The impact that @manfredthierrymugler had on me is boundless. He made me see the world differently through his art as a child and it is something I have kept with me and will continue to keep with me. Can’t wait to get home and hug my collection super tight. What an inspiration. What a legend. What a loss. Soar eternally, Star.”
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