Mugler-Inspired Costumes: Part One

Halloween is just around the corner, but if you still haven’t selected your costume, we’ve got you covered! Look no further than the treasure trove of inspiration found in Thierry Mugler’s wonderfully whimsical runway shows from the 1980s and 90s. 

Known as the “PT Barnum of the fashion world,” Mugler’s extravagant runways built his reputation as the ultimate showman. Atlantis, Mount Olympus, Aliens, Superheroes, Insects, Hollywood, Robots, and the Wild West are just some of the themes that appeared in his surrealistic presentations. Mugler saw the fashion show as an opportunity to build new worlds of fantasy, to tell the story of a heroine on an extraordinary adventure each season. In addition to storyboarding the production – a result of his early love of comic books – Mugler personally directed each aspect of the show, from lighting, sets, and music to models, makeup, and hairstyles. The fashion shows were intended to  stir publicity for the more client-friendly collection; after the outlandish runway, the showroom was stocked with the best-selling ‘store suits’ that were the foundation of his business. 

Thanks to the Michel Arnaud Fashion Photography Archive, we have hundreds of images from Mugler’s runway shows – and it was not hard to find outrageous ensembles that could double as Halloween getups. In fact, there are so many to choose from that we thought this subject deserved two entries; stay tuned next week for part two of our Mugler costume inspiration! 

Note: all photos by Michel Arnaud, Gift of Arnaud Associates.

Disco Ball, F/W 1990

082220Sassy Skunk, F/W 1997

082172Party Pom Pom, S/S 1991

082166RoboCop, F/W 1990

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