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French fantasy fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies aged 73

By Michael Fitzpatrick - RFI
France MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE AFPArchivos
JAN 24, 2022 LISTEN
MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE AFPArchivos

French designer Thierry Mugler, who reigned over fashion in the 1980s and died on Sunday, was as famous for his fantastical couture as for his blockbuster fashion shows. He was 73.

Mugler's daring collections came to define the decade's power dressing, with his clothes noted for their structured and sophisticated silhouettes, showcased by his extravagant shows.

"I always thought that fashion was not enough on its own and that it had to be shown in its musical and theatrical environment," he once said.

In later years, he dressed Beyonce and Lady Gaga -- and in 2019 came out of retirement to create Kim Kardashian's Met Gala look.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022," said a post on the designer's official Facebook account.

His agent Jean-Baptiste Rougeot, who said the designer had died of "natural causes", added he had been due to announce new collaborations early this week.

Born in Strasbourg in December 1948, Mugler joined the Opera du Rhin's ballet company as a teenager, before studying at the School of Decorative Arts.

He created his own clothes, adapting items bought at nearby flea markets. He moved to Paris at the age of 20, initially to work with another ballet company -- but was more successful with his own wardrobe.

Mugler soon became a freelance stylist and worked for various fashion houses in Paris, London and Milan.

A showman at heart

In 1973, he took the plunge and created his own label "Café de Paris", before founding "Thierry Mugler" a year later.

His designs exacerbated and celebrated women's forms: shoulders accentuated by padding, plunging necklines, constricted waists and rounded hips.

"Dancing taught me a lot about posture, the organisation of clothing, the importance of the shoulders, the head carriage, the play and rhythm of the legs," said Mugler.

 A showman at heart, he organised spectacular presentations of his creations, pioneering the modern spectacle of the 21st century fashion show.

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