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On Tuesday evening, The Brooklyn Museum opened the first U.S. iteration of the global exhibition, “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime,” with a night of merrymaking that paid tribute to the designer who passed away earlier this year. True to Manfred Thierry Mugler’s avant-garde fashion and affinity for theatrics, the fête was a lively experience that saw the museum transformed into a night-club environment for the occasion, acknowledging Mugler’s past shows. With the help of the designer’s friend and underground club scene expert Susanne Bartsch, a glamorous guest list of Mugler-clad attendees (like Laverne Cox, Richie Shazam, Rowan Blanchard, Akuol Deng, Zerina Akers, and Kylie Jenner) was treated to a preview of the show and a full lineup of entertainment including a DJ, a performance by Joey Arias, and a showcase of acrobatics and burlesque by Amanda Lepore.
First organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the show’s New York edition has been reconceived for the Brooklyn Museum by its original curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot, and the museum’s Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Matthew Yokobosky. Following installations in Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, the exhibition details the breathtaking oeuvre of Mugler’s brand and legacy through an expansive presentation of costumes, couture pieces, films, photographs, and archival work—much of which is being presented for the first time.
“The constant innovations, inventions, and avant-garde architectural silhouettes in the work of Mugler have marked an era,” said Loriot. “His singular style found a place in the history of fashion that still has a powerful influence on today’s generation of couturiers, not only because of its designs, but also because of the strong message of inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment in his body of work. To present the exhibition I created with him, in the city he lived in and loved so much, is the most beautiful tribute to celebrate the man and the artist’s legacy.”
Mugler’s story unfolds through more than 100 designs ranging from the fashion house’s own collections to pieces designed for the likes of Cirque du Soleil, Beyoncé, Cardi B, and the 1992 music video for Too Funky by George Michael, thematically organized in sections that focus on the designer’s interests—fantasy, eroticism, glamor, science fiction, and the natural world. Completing the stunning narrative of imaginative fashion, visitors should make sure to look out for a section dedicated to fragrance, imagery and details from collaborations with the likes of the photographer Helmut Newton or iconic designers like Karl Lagerfeld, and an immersive installation by the special effects studio Rodeo FX, among other things.
“Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” opens to the public at the Brooklyn Museum today, November 18, and will remain on view through May 7, 2023.