Sadly, the fashion world recently lost one of its brightest creative minds: Thierry Mugler. He leaves behind an entirely unique design legacy of blazing rainbows, alien-like, powerful silhouettes and a trail of fallen stars. Lots 184-197 in our 22nd March auction form a tribute to his work.
Lot 187, a good and rare Thierry Mugler green wool suit, circa 1991, estimate £400-600
Above left: archive catalogue image of lot 188, Thierry Mugler checked burgundy wool suit, circa 1991, estimate £250-400
Above right: archive catalogue image of part lot 192, Thierry Mugler pale lime-green wool jacket, circa 1991, estimate £250-400
If you have ever had the thrill (and privilege) of wearing a Mugler piece, you will have experienced the powerful metamorphosis which takes place when his clothes are worn on the body. Thierry Mugler did not simply dress women: he dressed alien empresses and glamazonian warriors. The vendor of lots 184-186 fondly recalls the emotional, transformative impact of wearing his designs: 'I adored wearing every one of my treasured Thierry Mugler pieces; they flattered my figure, lifted my soul and filled me with confidence (and I needed plenty of that running my advertising business in the 1990s!)'.
Lot 184, a Thierry Mugler black gabardine suit with sheer insertions, Spring-Summer 1998, estimate £250-350
Lot 185, a Thierry Mugler royal blue gabardine suit, Autumn-Winter 1998-99, estimate £200-300
Mugler’s avant-garde designs for women are his most influential and recognisable but let us not forget that he also dressed men in a futuristic burst of colour. Starring in the Mugler section of our upcoming auction is the collection of Mr. Christopher Matthews (lots 189 to 197), former lecturer at Saint Martins and VP of Design in Los Angeles. Christopher travelled the world during the 1980s-90s, riding on the back of mopeds to factory appointments in China dressed head-to-toe in Mugler!
A colourful selection from the Christopher Matthews collection, featuring part lots 192, 196 and 197
Above left: archive catalogue image of lot 197, Thierry Mugler lilac wool jacket, circa 1991, estimate £200-300
Above right: photo of Christopher Matthews wearing an identical jacket in Los Angeles.
Christopher recalls: ‘I wore Thierry Mugler whilst teaching the MA Fashion & Textiles course at Saint Martins, and whilst working as a VP of design in Los Angles, spending a lot of time in Asia, especially Hong Kong and Japan. I bought my first Mugler at Browns in the early 1980s, and my clients and students really reacted to the cut and colour. After that, it became my uniform – and a bit of an obsession! As the decade progressed, living in Los Angeles and travelling extensively, I was able to purchase from many stores and the colours suited the climates and the lifestyle I had at the time. I bought most from the Mugler shop in Place Victoire and Takashima department store in Osaka. Joyce Boutique in Hong Kong, Takashima in Osaka were favourites, as I was a perfect Asian fit. In the early days of China opening up, in Shenzhen, where there were few tarmacked roads (mostly mud tracks and a few taxis), I travelled to factories for fittings on the back of mopeds!! If I wore jeans and a T-shirt, I got a cool reception from these factory owners, but if I wore full Mugler, I’d get a very warm welcome! This was the very definition of ‘power dressing’ – the power of Thierry Mugler’.
Top: Mugler at the 1995 20th anniversary show; bottom: Mugler photographed in 2021 in advance of the opening of a retrospective of his work at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Both images feature the ‘fembot’ look from his A/W 1995-96 20th anniversary collection.
Please click here to view the catalogue for our 22nd March 2022 auction.
Above left: a Thierry Mugler pleated cloth of gold evening gown, Autumn-Winter, 1988-89, sold for £5,500 hammer on 26/06/12
Above right: a Thierry Mugler metallic-blue evening ensemble, circa 1987-89, sold for £9,000 hammer on 08/06/10