On March 2nd, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) launched one of the most exciting fashion events in Canadian history. The Thierry Mugler: Couturissime Exhibition follows a subtle campaign of exposure that culminated in Cardi B wearing multiple archive Mugler couture pieces at the 2019 Grammys. (Read Turnabout’s coverage here!)

The exhibition was initiated, produced, and launched by the MMFA through the vision of curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot who diligently pursued the notoriously reluctant designer until the collaboration could be solidified and the exhibition is proof of this amazing duo’s synergy.

Reoccurring theme of transforming the female form to insect, reptile, and aquatic forms

Mugler is a ground-breaking French fashion designer who is credited with inventing the runway show. In the late 1970s and peaking in the 1990s, Mugler commanded and reinvented the runway over and over using African, Asian, and transgender models. Initially trained in ballet, he moved on to fashion, and currently is designing theatre productions.

Collection sketches for Fall/Winter 1986/87 with model notations


Costumes from the 1985 production of Shakespeare’s MacBeth
The exhibition is comprised of 140 haute couture and ready-to-wear garments created between 1973 and 2001, plus stage costumes for Cirque du Soliel and theatre productions, accessories, and much more to feed the imagination.
David Bowie was one celebrity dressed by Mugler in the 1990s.
Those coming of age in the 1980s will immediately recognize many of the garments from the iconic 1992 George Michael video “Too Funky” which featured supermodels in Mugler creations walking probably the most memorable runway ever. Even though the video ends with ‘Directed by ?,’ it was Mugler who chose to remain nameless in the credits.
Various pieces in lush red velvets, sequins, and crystals, from mid to late 1990s.
Rubber tire suit created for the Été Hawaii Spring/Summer 1990 Collection
Stunning piece from the Music Collection for Fall/Winter 1990-1991.

Manfred Thierry Mugler arrived in Montreal in the week preceding the launch to attend three separate VIP events held at the MMFA in celebration of the exhibition. The events were spectacular with Kim KardashianPat Cleveland, and Tyra Banks, all making appearances as special guests.

Mugler designs from 1990s. Literally each piece has elements present in today’s trends!

According to Loriot, the exhibition is laid-out at an opera, with peaks and valleys of impact. As attendees move from room-to-room, they are transported to different areas of creativity evoking different feelings of empowerment. Walls are lined with colourful sketches, photography of celebrities wearing Mugler designs, 3D projections, and the fantastic fashion itself.

Pieces from various collections inspired by insects in velvet, feathers, sequins, and fringe.

Enjoy this abbreviated walk-through of the Thierry Mugler: Couturissime Exhibition and we are sure you will see the original garments that have influenced so much of the fashion we are wearing today!

For those up for a glamorous week-end away, the exhibition is on until September 8, 2019.

All exhibition photographs courtesy Helen Siwak.


Author Profile

Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at helen@ecoluxluv.com.
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