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Mugler, Thierry

line mugler’s women’s angel

B. 1948

Birthplace: Strasbourg, Alsace, France

Thierry Mugler’s early training was in the fine arts; he was a member of the Rhine Opera Ballet from 1965 to 1966, and he attended the Strasbourg School of Fine Arts from 1966 to 1967. At the age of twenty, Mugler moved to Paris to pursue a career in the fashion industry. He worked as an assistant designer for the Gudule boutique in 1968, as a designer for André Peters in London in 1969, and freelanced for several houses in Paris and Milan between 1970 and 1973. In 1973 Mugler created his own label, Café de Paris, and a year later, he founded his own house.

Unlike most designers, Mugler’s signature line is a cross between ready-to-wear and haute couture, containing elements of both mass production and made-to-measure wear. His work is extravagant, innovative, and filled with iconography. He draws on such postmodern themes as Hollywood glamor, sexual fetishes, science fiction, and politics. His annual collection presentations are more theatrical performances than runway, choreographed like musicals starring top models, porn stars, transvestites, and pop icons. His body-conscious clothing, which draws inspiration from New York nightclubs, is frequently characterized by extremely exaggerated proportions of one area of the body: padded shoulders, wasp waists, or panniered hips.

Mugler’s menswear line is as trendy and theatrical as his women’s line. In 1992 he expanded his menswear offerings by launching Mugler par Thierry Mugler, a collection of classic staples designed to complement his signature collection. Mugler’s other product lines and license agreements include a men’s footwear line licensed by Transatlantique; women’s handbags, scarves, and accessories; and men’s ties licensed by Lafargue. Mugler also produces men’s and women’s fragrances under license by Clarin’s. Angel, a fragrance line for women, was introduced in 1992 featuring an ecologically minded refillable bottle; it expanded in 1999 to include Angel Secrets, a line of body products. A Men (Angelmen), the male counterpart to Angel, was launched in 1996.

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