Alas, the world has lost another genius fashion icon — Thierry Mugler has passed away at age 73. Avant-garde couture designer Manfred Thierry Mugler was a visionary in his industry, making a name for himself in the 1970s with his own fashion house. Known for his artistic and theatrical take on couture that always pushed boundaries, Mugler loved to creatively blend the worlds of style, pop culture, and architecture. Mugler frequently dressed celebrities like Cardi B and Kim Kardashian, sought after for his unexpected materials and ability to create pure magic out of them. Here are the best Thierry Mugler dresses of all time.
1. Kim Kardashian at 2019 Met Gala
No one could forget that time that Kim K showed up to the Met Gala in this magnificent dress, dripping in jewels. This jaw-dropping latex and bejewelled dress took eight months to make, and was Mugler’s first design for his fashion house in two decades. The vision was “California girl stepping out of the ocean” and we’d say he nailed it.
2. Beyonce’s “I Am…Sasha Fierce” album
One of Mugler’s more wild looks, this bustier was inspired by a motorcycle in the best way possible. Beyonce loves Mugler’s futuristic, otherworldly inventions, and we’re not surprised — she looked like a superhero mega babe in all of the creations he designed for the Sasha Fierce world tour. This Harley Davidson Corset was first worn by in a George Michael music video in the 1990s.
3. Cardi B at 2019 Grammys
Talk about dramatic! Inspired by Botticelli’s Venus, this pink and black gown by Thierry Mugler is from his Fall/Winter 1995/1996 ready-to-wear collection, which is hailed by many as his best collection of all time. This is a new kind of sexy on Cardi, who usually wears more skin-baring look.
4. Claudia Schiffer in Fall/Winter 1995 RTW
This supermodel walked many times at Mugler runway, this time in a stunning gown with teardrop-esque embellishments. This is clearly the inspiration for the infamous Kim K look, and while the dress is fabulous, it’s the oversized fur stole that made this look so iconic. A look of glamorous luxury and drama.
5. An insect inspired collection from 1997
In his collection Les Insectes, Mugler merged insect-inspired looks with a futuristic dominatrix vibe. We love the pillbox with little antennas, and the texture on this bright and unique look. Another memorable moment from this collection was when four matching models came out in matching skirts and insect eyepiece and hats — also complete with antennas, of course.
6. Nadja Auermann on the Mugler Fall/Winter 1995 Ready-To-Wear runway
This goddess-like look blends soft and tough femininity in this golden corset, which screams Wonder Woman but is made more delicate by the tulle alongside it. This metallic corset is timeless and fierce, and has been chosen over and over again by A-listers to wear, like Beyonce and Celine Dion.
7. Jerry Hall in a bright, insect-inspired gown
Jerry Hall was Mugler’s biggest muse, alongside fellow supermodel Iman. He loved that she was a femme fatale and a true performer on the catwalk, and she certainly out-performed herself in this strapless butterfly wing sheath dress from Mugler’s Les Insectes 1997 collection. Irina Shayk recently wore the same dress to the Thierry Mugler Couturissim opening party in 2021.
8. The Chimera Gown
This famous (and very expensive) gown has all the colors of the rainbow, pulled together by the coolest gold corset you’ve ever seen. It tuned the model into a hybrid creature and was covered in infinite scales, feathers and pearls, as well as real horsehair at the ends of the sleeve. This dress took two years to make, and each reptilian scale was actually hand-painted individually.