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 is presenting the very first exhibition on the work of French creator Thierry Mugler. Initiated, produced and circulated by the MMFA, this retrospective reveals the multiple worlds of this irrepressible artistic figure – at once visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer – by revisiting his prêt-à-porter and haute couture creations.

Premiering in Montreal, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime brings together more than 140 garments made between 1973 and 2001, most of which are being shown for the first time, as well as a wealth of unpublished archival documents and sketches. One hundred or so photographs by such world-renowned fashion photographers as Helmut Newton, Sarah Moon, Pierre et Gilles, David LaChapelle, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin and Richard Avedon, to name a few, round out the show. Each of the immersive galleries has been designed in collaboration with talented artist-designers and set designers, including Michel Lemieux and Philipp Fürhofer.


Thierry Mugler has staged some of the most spectacular fashion shows of his time. He also notably created the stage costumes for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, for the Comédie-Française and Festival d’Avignon, and for Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity. He has dressed myriad celebrities, including Diana Ross, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli and Quebec’s Diane Dufresne and Céline Dion. Moreover, he created the costumes for many of Mylène Farmer’s and Beyoncé’s tours and videos. As a photographer and director, he made the iconic 1990s video Too Funky by British singer George Michael (1963-2016), as well as short films starring actresses Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche.

Over the course of his career, Mugler has collaborated prolifically with renowned filmmakers, architects, photographers and artists, including Andrée Putman, for his boutiques, as well as Helmut Newton, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, David LaChapelle and Pierre et Gilles.


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

It was curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA.

Proud partner of the exhibition tour, Dutch manufacturer Hans Boodt made 140 haute couture mannequins specially for this production. The exhibition marks the Helmut Newton Foundation’s first participation in a foreign museum’s work since its inception in Berlin in 2003.

The presentation of Thierry Mugler: Couturissime was made possible with the generous support of RBC Royal Bank, in collaboration with Hans Boodt Mannequins, Tourisme Montréal, Audi and La Presse+, official media partner. The Museum thanks Michel Phaneuf, Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy and the Consulat Général de France à Québec, proud partners of the exhibition, and recognizes the essential contribution of Air Canada, the MMFA’s Angel Circle, and media partners Bell and the Montreal Gazette.