TORONTO — For those who know him, Thierry Mugler is not one to be easily dated or constrained by time nor trends, according to Thierry-Maxime Loriot, curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ upcoming retrospective “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime,” which will run from March 2 to Sept. 8.
“Mugler always broke the rules and pushed every boundary as he created his own universe and translated that into fashion and his extraordinary accessories,” Loriot told WWD in advance of Mugler’s rare “preview” visit to the MMFA on Tuesday and his one-on-one conversation with his hand-picked curator before a handful of select invitees.
In 2011, Loriot launched the successful exhibition “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” which was seen by 2.3 million visitors as it spent four years on a record tour of 12 cities across the globe.
So it’s not surprising that Mugler approached Loriot two years ago to undertake this massive, 140-piece retrospective that showcases not only the designer’s imagination and craftsmanship but also the daring persona that has been on display ever since he created his first collection in 1973 and went on to dress the likes of David Bowie, Ivana Trump and Demi Moore for the 1993 film “Indecent Proposal.”
“The museum wanted to do this retrospective for the last 20 years. But I believe one of the reasons Mugler asked me to do this for the MMFA was that he knew I like to dive into the universe of living artists and bring something out of that experience for the public that feels groundbreaking and alive,” Loriot said.
Mugler’s afternoon pit-stop in Montreal will be brief. But it will be long enough for guests to gaze at five pivotal exhibition pieces that the designer will reveal to the MMFA crowd on Tuesday.
“I cannot reveal what these items are for I am sworn to secrecy,” Loriot laughed. “But they all say a lot about the fearless openness and female-empowering ideas that drove Mugler throughout every chapter in his career.”
As Loriot said, “This isn’t a brand-sponsored exhibition meant to sell perfume or bags. But it does send a message from Mugler to those of us living in this digital age: Be your own person, don’t bow to trends and you can succeed.”