The man, the myth, the photography legend

The iconic French couturier and designer, Thierry Mugler, pulls the curtain back and reveals some of the secrets behind his imaginative couture designs. This designer does more than just creating concepts, he brings fantasy to reality.

Mugler is the creative director of Thierry Mugler for more than three decades and is also the genius behind the lens of the photography for his collections. Mugler is known for his iconic couture designs but should also be known for transporting people through the collection photos.

Mugler has photos from unique and rare locations that are hard to gain access to but he finds a way to make it possible with locations including the Opéra Garnier, the gargoyles of the Chrysler Building, Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali, Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, the salt flats of Chile’s Atacama Desert, and more.

Mugler was a professional ballet dancer at the Rhin Opera in Alsace, France and he staged his first fashion show, for his first fashion photograph doing all the production including location scouting, and styling. Mugler’s first experience with professional photography started when he would shoot campaigns for fragrance and ready-to-wear.

Mugler relies on making everything as real as possible, not relying on green screens or Photoshop to create a truly realistic photo. Mugler likes to shoot in exotic, less-seen locations to present an appealing adventure.

One of his most legendary shots was a model laying on a piece of ice in front of an iceberg for a breath-taking shot. Mugler explains to achieve the shot they traveled by boat 20 nautical miles out to sea during the summer solstice utilizing the longest days of the year. Once they got close to the iceberg they positioned two survival blankets (carefully to not be seen on camera) on a floating piece of ice then they had the model take her position, achieving this magnificent shot in 1987.

Another iconic collection campaign was shot in ‘The Hall of Mirrors’ in the Versailles palace during the golden hour. You can see more of Mugler’s photography in his new book, Manfred Thierry Mugler, Photographer by Abrams Books.