From March 2, 2019 to September 8, 2019

“Thierry Mugler deserves to be recognized and applauded as a unique and important player on the fashion stage. […] The first presentation of his fantastical creations is being prepared for a museum show in Montreal.”

– Suzy Menkes, Vogue International


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is pleased to present the first exhibition on French creator Thierry Mugler. Conceived, produced and put on tour by the MMFA, this exhibition will reveal the multiple universes of this undeniably artistic figure – visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer – in a retrospective of his work, especially his ready-to-wear and haute couture creations.

Presented in Montreal as a world premiere, this spectacular retrospective brings together more than 140 ensembles, most of them on display for the first time, created between 1973 and 2001, as well as many never-before seen accessories and stage costumes, clips and videos, archival documents and sketches. A hundred works by the greatest contemporary fashion photographers such as Avedon, Bourdin, Goude, LaChapelle, Newton, Ritts round out the exhibition. Each of the immersive galleries has been designed with artist-designers or set designers such as Michel Lemieux and Philipp Fürhofer.


Over the course of his career, Thierry Mugler has had many collaborations with filmmakers, architects such as Andrée Putman for his boutiques, and renowned photographers and artists, such as Helmut Newton, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, David LaChapelle and Pierre & Gilles, many of whose works will be presented in the exhibition. Thierry Mugler: Couturissime marks the Helmut Newton Foundation’s first participation, since its inauguration in Berlin in 2013, as a lender to an exhibition designed by a foreign museum.

As a photographer and filmmaker, he directed the emblematic 1990s video “Too Funky” by British singer George Michael, as well as short films starring actresses Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. Thierry Mugler has staged some of the most spectacular fashion shows of his time. He created the costumes for the staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie-Française and the Festival d’Avignon, and the Zumanity show by the Cirque du Soleil. He has dressed a galaxy of stars, such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli and, in Quebec, Diane Dufresne and Céline Dion. He has also created costumes for Mylène Farmer and Beyoncé for their tours and videos.

Montreal Couture

Curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, this exhibition pays tribute to the talent of 10 local creators and collectives. Montreal Couture is the first exhibition to bring together the creations of three Quebec fashion icons: Marie Saint Pierre, with her precise, timeless cuts that marry style and function; Philippe Dubuc, whose debut collection reinvented menswear; and Denis Gagnon, who swept the fashion scene with his irreverent style and haute couture approach. The exhibition is also an opportunity to discover the distinct world of stylist Helmer Joseph, who blends elegance, romanticism and savoir-faire with his Haitian roots; creator Ying Gao, who mixes industrial design, architecture, robotics and sensory experimentation with interactive media; Marie-Ève Lecavalier, winner of the prestigious Chloé Prize; and duo Fecal Matter, formed by Montrealers Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran, who combine fashion, music and performance.

Up-and-coming fashion designers will also be showcased in the modern and technical streetwear of Atelier New Regime, the bespoke suits of Nathon Kong and the gothic-exotic style of MARKANTOINE.

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Curator: Thierry-Maxime Loriot, in collaboration with Geneviève Lafaille, MMFA, as well as Catherine Nadeau and Melissa Thompson, Cirque du Soleil. Image: designers Fecal Matter. © Photo Martin Laporte (L’Éloi)


An exhibition initiated, produced and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Groupe Clarins and the Maison Mugler.

The exhibition was curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.