Thierry Mugler 穆勒:重返时尚

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Words: Suzy Menkes  Translation: Agnes G.

人們對於服裝設計師總喜歡有所幻想,他應該是特立獨行的,放蕩不羈的,自我的,孤獨的······ 大部分時候,大設計師們也只是為人聘用,過著平淡且忙碌生活的普通人,沒有太過戲劇化的人生軌跡。不過今次要說的這位設計師不同,這位風靡80年代的設計大師時隔二十年後重新回歸公眾視野,離開時尚圈的這些年他忙於為戲劇舞台設計服裝,而他的人生也許比戲劇更戲劇。

For the first time in a decade, the designer talks to Suzy about his passion for nature, famous clients from Beyoncé to Ivana Trump, and his upcoming exhibition

這是十年來第一次,這位法國設計師向Suzy提起了他對自然的熱愛,他從Beyonce到美國總統第一任妻子Ivana Trump的名人顧客們,還有即將到來的展覽。

Suzy with Manfred (formerly Thierry) Mugler (right) and curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot in the designer’s archive outside Paris. Loriot’s exhibition of the designer’s work opens in March 2019 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. Photo Credit: @SUZYMENKESVOGUE

Thierry Mugler – or “Manfred” as the reclusive designer now calls himself – walks me along a row of his extraordinary creations.

“This is the famous green jacket that David Bowie wore; that’s a suit for Ivana Trump – she was one of my best clients; and this is the scarification effect for Iman, in the same colour as her skin,” Mugler says, explaining the story behind each and every outfit.

Thierry Mugler (蒂埃里·穆勒),這位隱遁已久的設計師現在稱自己為“Manfred”(曼弗萊德),帶領我一同回顧了他超卓的時裝創作。
“這件是David Bowie穿過的綠西裝外套;那件是為Ivana Trump設計的,她是我最好的客戶之一;還有這件是為了Iman(索馬里裔美國模特、女演員和企業家,與David Bowie在1992年結婚)所作,衣服和她肌膚的顏色融為一體”,Mugler說,解釋著每套服裝背後的事蹟。

Ivana Trump takes a bow with Thierry Mugler (left) at the finale of the Thierry Mugler Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 1992 show Photo Credit: RINDOFF PETROFF / GETTY IMAGES

Nearly two decades after he swapped fashion for show business and rebuilt his body to alter his appearance dramatically, the first presentation of his fantastical creations is being prepared for a museum show in Montreal: “Thierry Mugler: Beyond Couture”.

The designer, who reached his supreme fashion position in the Eighties, always tilted towards performance clothes, with an enticing list of artists following his sharp, body-conscious cuts, his exceptional materials, and extraordinary accessories.

Mugler離開時尚圈已有二十年,他轉戰表演行業;他重塑了身形;他戲劇性地改變了容貌。而這次,他過去所有非凡創意的首秀將呈現在蒙德利爾美術館,名為 “Thierry Mugler:Beyond Couture”。

Credit: @suzymenkesvogue

We look together at a naked figure laid out in sculpted silver garments, as if inside a coffin.

“She’s our goddess,” the designer announces, showing me other people in metallic pieces, from an openwork Victorian crinoline to a Nefertiti figure in a silvered robe.


Together with us in this anonymous storage area on the outskirts of Paris is Thierry-Maxime Loriot, Exhibition Curator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).

In 2011, Loriot launched the blockbuster exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier that subsequently spent four years spinning across the world to 12 cities from Dallas, to Melbourne – “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”.

Thierry is excited about his new project, which is destined to open in Montreal on the 2nd of March 2019, where it will be on show for six months before traveling to Europe and more countries around the globe (to be announced soon).

同我們一起身處這片巴黎市郊的倉庫區的是Thierry-Maxime Loriot,蒙特利爾美術館(MMFA)的策展人。
在2011年,Loriot策劃了轟動性的Jean Paul Gaultier(讓·保羅·高緹耶)個展——”The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”,並在隨後四年內在從達拉斯到墨爾本的全球12個城市巡展。
Thierry-Maxime Loriot對於他的新項目很興奮,展覽將在2019年的3月2日在蒙特利爾開放,為期六個月,隨後將往歐洲和世界其他國家展覽。

Simonetta Giarfelici wears an evening ensemble from the Thierry Mugler Ready-to-Wear Autumn/Winter 1995 “Twentieth Anniversary at the Cirque d’Hiver” collection © PATRICE STABLE / THIERRY MUGLER

“Fashion now is only sweatpants and Instagram,” the curator says, explaining how the 150 pieces are being chosen not only to show wonders of imagination and technique, but also to celebrate the exuberant energy of a pre-digital designer whose exceptional work looks fresh and relevant to today.

Manfred’s manager, Jean-Baptiste Rougeot, reveals that 9,000 pieces [“10,000 if you include accessories,” says Thierry-Maxime] are “in secret places in Provence”.

Manfred的經理人Jean-Baptiste Rougeot透露共有9000多件Manfred Thierry Mugler的設計作品“在普羅旺斯的秘密地點存放著”(“算上飾品一共有10,000件”,策展人Thierry-Maxime補充說) 。

“Everything has been stored and the company is very proud of that, because many other designers’ original pieces do not exist anymore,” says the man who believes that the Mugler spirit has remained alive in the stage clothes that Manfred has created for Beyoncé and in the uber-successful fragrances for American beauty giant IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances).

As he holds up the different objects, Mugler laughs a lot. Although his face has changed almost beyond recognition and his body has beefed up several sizes, he has the same energy and enthusiasm as in the Eighties. I vividly remember his shows from that time, sitting in a theatre watching model Pat Cleveland on stage, rising upwards to the heavens; or when I crouched on the floor absorbing an extraordinary display of insects translated into clothes.

當Manfred拿起不同的設計作品向我展示時,他時常大笑著。雖然他的臉已經同當初改變了太多,他的身體也壯碩了好幾倍,但他仍然和80年代時保有同樣的能量和熱情。我仍然生動地記得他那時的秀,坐在劇場中看著模特Pat Cleveland在台上,被升向天堂;有時我更蹲伏在台階上,瞻仰著一場他將昆蟲世界搬運到服裝設計中的盛宴。

“Scarification” effects. Left: Inez and Vinoodh photograph Kym for BLVD Magazine in 1994 wearing a tribal dress from the Thierry Mugler Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 1994 “Longchamps” collection. Right: Esther Cañadas photographed by Herb Ritts for Vogue France, December/January 1998/1999 wearing a Thierry Mugler leather and horsehair jacketLEFT: INEZ AND VINOODH. RIGHT: © HERB RITTS / TRUNK ARCHIVE

“Staging was important for me, but also the most important thing is to be inspired – by fish, insects, or symbolic animals like a boar,” says the designer, who will turn 70 this December.

“Then there are objects like a motorcycle or a car,” he continues. “The idea is to find the human in there and to transform all these inspirations, but also to simplify the femininity.”

“也有像摩托車和汽車的服裝”,他繼續說到。 “我的理念是要找出它們中的人的特製並且將這些靈感轉換,但同時也要簡化女性的形象”。

Motorcycle inspiration: A Thierry Mugler “Harley Davidson” bustier in painted Plexiglas (by Jean-Jacques Urcun) with “wing mirror” detail, worn with fringed leather shorts, and a matching “Budweiser” garter from the “Cowboys” collection, Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 1992© PATRICE STABLE / THIERRY MUGLER

Looking at the Mugler creations – the upside-down triangle silhouette of the Eighties’ suit; pleated gold lamé decoration; an animal-shaped bodice made of hair; “fur” fabricated from layers of feathers; paillettes that might have been scarabs, with their eerie translucent colours – the wonder is how relevant these clothes still seem to contemporary eyes.

The heart of the work is in the cut – so precise and certain, whether on a curving sweep of a neckline, a pleated jacket draped to the body, or the line of those rigid metallic bodices somehow melted into a curvy corset.

“And here is my way of paying homage to an Italian icon: lace,” Mugler says. “It’s all in rubber and moulded – there was no 3D- printing then.”

“這是我在以我的方式向意大利的經典產物致敬——蕾絲”,Mugler說到。 “在那個沒有3-D打印的年代,一切都依靠將橡膠灌入模具中成型。”

Mugler is renowned for his metallic effects. Left: Helena Christensen (left) wearing a silver metal strapless bra from the Thierry Mugler Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 1991 “Super Star Diana Ross” collection and shorts by Jean-Pierre Delcros. Right: Nadja Auermann wearing a gold metal bodysuit with inlaid rhinestones, gold leather, and diamanté gloves and corset by Jean-Pierre Delcros. From the Thierry Mugler Ready-to-Wear Autumn/Winter 1995 collection, “Twentieth Anniversary at the Cirque d’Hiver” LEFT: © HERB RITTS / TRUNK ARCHIVE. RIGHT: © PATRICE STABLE / THIERRY MUGLER

Thierry-Maxime will have to convince the museum audiences of today that clothes that seem so modern were designed before the digital era and before the days when a mighty waterfall of earrings would have got in the way of a smartphone.

Now enjoying phenomenal success at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam with an exhibition devoted to 25 years of Viktor & Rolf, the French-Canadian curator is an inspired choice to bring Mugler on stage in a museum show.

策展人Thierry-Maxime 需要說服博物館觀眾的是,這些看起來極具摩登感的服裝是在數碼時代以前設計出來的,在瀑布般的巨大耳環擋住智能手機的日子之前。他早先在鹿特丹的Kunsthal 博物館為Viktor & Rolf 策劃的25週年展取得了現象級的成功,現在這位法裔加拿大策展人成為將Mugler搬到博物館舞台的關鍵人物。

Detail from a Brad Branson and Fritz Kok photoshoot of Thierry Mugler for Blitz Magazine, 1990 INDÜSTRIA / BRAD BRANSON AND FRITZ KOK

Mugler’s manager, Rougeot, has kept the designer in touch with the fashion world through the unstoppable success of the IFF fragrances, starting with Angel and on to Alien and Aura.

It feels as though the clothes were designed yesterday as Mugler shows me pages of his drawings, all with an angular elegance. “Shoes of the impossible” is his description of sculpted footwear, looking like predecessors to Alexander McQueen’s fantastical shoes a quarter-century later.

Mugler的經理人Rougeot 憑藉IFF香水系列連續熱烈的市場反響幫助作為設計師的Mugler不與時尚界脫節,從Angel香水到Alien再到Aura。
Mugler向我展示他那一頁頁手繪的設計稿,優雅的棱角充滿了他的設計,讓人恍惚覺得那些衣服是昨天剛剛被設計出來的。 “不可能的鞋子”,他這麼命名他設計的一雙極具雕塑感的高跟鞋,看起來像是Alexander McQueen設計的 fantastical shoes的先輩,早了四分之一個世紀。

Credit: @suzymenkesvogue Instagram

The designer was indeed ahead of his time, with his feathered extravaganzas and a belief in nature that made him create a pair of couture gloves from porcupine needles that were actually, as he describes them, “made especially fake, in plastic – my fantasy of reinventing animal skin because I never did fur. I don’t kill animals.”

“人們認可我的剪裁風格對後來者的影響,因為從七十年代起我的設計都是這種風格”,Mugler手持一件剪裁線條鋒利的紅色西裝說著。 “但我不確定人們是否注意到我這種影響力的廣度”。

Manfred Mugler in his archive with a fake-fur “mink” coat that is actually made from layer upon layer of tulle flecked with gold. A devoted nature-lover, Mugler would often replicate animal trims in his clothes and accessories rather than use the real thing THIERRY-MAXIME LORIOT

Mugler says his stand against destroying nature goes back to 1972, when he “wanted to get as close as possible to the beauty of real mink” by using “layers and layers of chiffon, embroidered with pieces of gold”.

The designer remembers another “fur” creation – “traditional haute couture dresses made of horsehair that Jerry Hall wore with her daughter Lizzy Jagger on stage”.

這位設計師還提及另一個“皮草”的創造——“那是Jerry Hall和她女兒Lizzy Jagger在舞台表演時穿著的一件傳統高定裙裝,我以馬的鬃毛取代真皮草。 ”

Credit: @suzymenkesvogue

“And then there is this from the ‘Atlantes’ collection in 1989,” he continues. “Fish gills on the front of the dress. The tailoring of this fabric is really great – like a statue – it stays on your body but stands up gracefully the way we want.”

Having studied all the existing pieces, Thierry-Maxime says, “It was a revolution at the time to make things like this” and shows me an evening swimming suit from 1986.

“還有這個名為’Atlantes’的1989年的服裝系列”,他繼續說到。 “在裙子前部放置魚鰓狀裝置。這種面料的剪裁很棒,像雕塑一樣,既能貼合在身體上,又以我們希望的方式優雅地立著”。


Thierry Mugler re-imagined as a centaur by Jean-Paul Goude for Vogue France, 1998 © JEAN-PAUL GOUDE

Who is Thierry Mugler? He was born “Manfred Mugler” in Strasbourg, on the German edge of France, trained as a classical dancer from age 9, and became part of the ballet corps at 14. His first collection was in 1973, showcasing his angular power-dressing in blocks of solid color or glitter decoration, sparkling through to the Eighties. His bold styling brought him to dress Demi Moore in 1993’s Indecent Proposal and to work with George Michael on the video for “Too Funky”, although that ended in a bust-up.

Thierry Mugler是誰呢?他本名”Manfred Mugler”, 出生在斯特拉斯堡,一座位於法、德之交的城市,從9歲起就被訓練成一名古典舞舞蹈演員,14時成為芭蕾團的一員。他的第一個服裝設計系列始於1973年,其中展示了他充滿棱角的職場裝,以濃郁色塊或者閃耀的裝飾風靡了八十年代。 Mugler大膽的風格使他得以為Demi Moore1993年的電影 Indecent Proposal 設計服裝,同時也與George Michael合作影片“ Too Funky”,雖然後者最終以二人鬧掰收場。

Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal, 1993. For her date with Robert Redford’s character, the tycoon John Gage, Diana Murphy (Moore) wears a dress by Thierry Mugler from the Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 1992 “Cowboys” collection PARAMOUNT PICTURES/PHOTOFEST


This madness was replaced by continuing support from the Clarins beauty group and a new role for Mugler, who moved to New York in 2002 and concentrated on costume design, some for risky cabaret.

Thierry-Maxime hopes to bring together the wide-ranging creativity of Mugler’s life and career into the exhibition.

他的常客,包括了Ivana Trump (Donald Trump的第一任妻子,模特,女企業家)。 “她曾就一款西裝訂購了12種顏色”。雖然後來IFF叫停了燒錢的女裝系列,以及2000年後Mugler的所有時尚業務。 Mugler的品牌在以後的數年內又再次被多任當代設計師復興。對於Mugler來說,這反倒是一種解脫,從1年設計10個系列,需要多達11層樓的工人投入生產的忙碌中解脫。

Manfred Mugler gives Suzy Menkes a tour of his archive outside Paris, summer 2018. Having worked as a professional ballet dancer from age 14 to 20, Mugler has always been athletic and maintains a strict exercise regime today – he turns 70 in December THIERRY-MAXIME LORIOT

“I always work with a living artist or designer, and the whole presentation is about his vision,” the curator says. “It’s about how he has translated his passions and his obsessions through clothing, ever since age 14 when he joined the Opéra national du Rhin as a ballet dancer. He toured with the company for six years as a professional dancer.”

I remember so clearly a conversation with Thierry Mugler in the Nineties, when he told me that his first fragrance, Angel, with its faceted bottle of an exploding star, came directly from his personal turmoil as a young gay man, too guilty to go to the cathedral in Strasbourg, and instead lying on a bench outside, looking up at the stars that would become a symbol of his lifelong work.

“我總是和在世的藝術家和設計師合作,一切都是為了展現他的視角”,這位策展人說到。 “這次展覽旨在反映Mugler如何通過服裝傳達他的熱情和沈迷,從他14歲起加入Opéra national du Rhin作為一名芭蕾舞演員開始”。

我清楚記得和Thierry Mugler在九十年代的一場對話,他告訴我關於他的第​​一支香水——Angle的故事。這款香水的瓶身刻成一顆爆發的星星的形狀,他說著直接來自他作為一個年輕的同性戀者時內心感到的旋渦,由於感到內疚而無法走入家鄉斯特拉斯堡的天主教堂,只能躺在教堂外的長椅上仰視著天上的星星——星星成了其一生工作的象徵。

Thierry (now Manfred) Mugler photographed in New York in 1995 by Dominique Issermann for Stern magazine © DOMINIQUE ISSERMANN

“I know what being alone is – really deeply,” he says now. “I had a difficult childhood and I was very alone for years and years. I was watching the stars because for me this was a new reality. There was something there, new, different more beautiful.

“When I started dancing, it was an opener; it was an incredible, fantastic help because it was a magical stage. The theatre was made for me. But after the beauty of the light, the red curtain and applause – everyone had someone to wait for them backstage, but me? Never. I had years and years when I was alone.”

“我深知獨自一人是什麼感覺——深深地”,他說著。 “我的童年很艱苦,在許多年裡我都是自己一個人的。我看著那些星星,因為它們代表著另一個現實。我相信在那邊存在著一個不同的世界,全新的,更加美好的”。


Credit: @suzymenkesvogue

Turning that sorrow into luminous, imaginative, original clothing was a personal triumph. And how richly Manfred Thierry Mugler deserves to be recognised and applauded as a unique and important player on the fashion stage.

將那種悲傷化為閃耀的,充滿原創性和想像力的服裝無疑是一種自我征服的勝利。作為時尚舞台上一個獨特且重要的角色,Manfred Thierry Mugler何等值得被認可,被欣賞。

“Thierry Mugler: Beyond Couture” opens at the MMFA on the 2nd of March 2019

“Thierry Mugler: Beyond Couture” 將於2019年3月2日在MMFA博物館開展。

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