It’s a good thing a picture is worth a thousand words, because this big, glossy coffee table book on audacious designer Thierry Mugler isn’t worth reading. It’s true you can’t judge a girl by her corset, but it was the cover that attracted me and fortunately there was a lot more of the same knockout imagery to be found inside.
The photos, many of them by the immortal Helmut Newton, are gorgeously reproduced large-sized and in full-fledged color. There are a couple of smaller pics, and only 10 black and whites ones, amid the supermodels and with marquee-appeal celebs (Jerry Hall, Beyoncé) splashed across the pages in hues mostly muted (lots of grays and somber, beautiful blocks).
Iconic French couturier Thierry Mugler’s creations (spanning four decades and from frocks to fragrances) have been loved, loathed, lauded and of course applauded over the years, but not much is known about the man himself. That remains true, even after reading Danièle Bott’s Thierry Mugler: Galaxy Glamour. There are some puff-piece style asides about his audacious outward appearance and a press-release like rundown of his accomplishments, but no interviews with him or about him (aside from the pull-quotes presumably previously published).
The book’s divided into five key themes that embody Mugler’s aesthetic—fantasy, anatomy, metamorphosis, heroines, and stars—and features his designs, catwalk stills, and a glimpse into his sketchpad, but towards the end the book really runs out of steam with a whole chapters devoted to his fragrance and jewelry lines.
I recommend Thierry Mugler: Galaxy Glamour for the pretty pictures and possible use as a reference from time to time, but if you’re looking to learn something about Mugler or French couture in the 70s and 80s… Wikipedia is free.