Moscow, Russia, 1986. Angela Wilde and Serguei wear *Tailleur Espion* and *Costume Espion* by Mugler.
Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM

Thierry Mugler’s Photographs Are Just as Daring as His Couture

Rarely seen images take readers on a visual voyage from the Algerian Sahara to Greenland’s iceberg-dotted Disko Bay
New York City, 1988. Carol Wilson wears Tailleur Vampire by Mugler. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM

“A photograph must come from imagination and not be a reflection of what is.” So said avant-garde fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who is renowned for conjuring futuristic haute couture worn by everyone from Jerry Hall to Beyoncé. (A recent retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was Canada’s most popular exhibition of 2019.)

In addition to his singular garments, Mugler exercises fierce creative control over all aspects of his brand, even shooting the campaigns himself. Now his electrifying work behind the lens is taking center stage with the new book Manfred Thierry Mugler, Photographer (Abrams, $125), which features more than 150 hypnotic images, many of which have never before been made public.

Recommended: Thierry Mugler Is Back in the Spotlight with Provocative New Show

Inside, Mugler takes readers on an enthralling visual voyage from the Algerian Sahara to Greenland’s iceberg-dotted Disko Bay and then to the outskirts of Volgograd, Russia, where he spotted a 66-foot-tall scarlet star, stopped the car, and asked model Angela Wilde to climb it. The resulting image certainly comes from the imagination, not a reflection of what is.

Guilin Valley, China, 1985. Evelyne Gaud-Peretti wears Beaux Fruits De L’été by Mugler. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM
Volgograd countryside, Russia, 1986. Angela Wilde wears Azzedine Alaïa.
Mugler’s 1985 trip to China, shown here, is chronicled in the new book. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM
White Sands, New Mexico, 1988. Djimon Hounsou as himself. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM
Tlalpan Chapel, Mexico City, designed by architect Luis Barragán, 1985. Anna Bayle, Daniel Nadelbach, and Ilaï wear Urban Summer Shirt by Mugler. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM
Tafraoute, Morocco, Painted Rocks of Tafraout by Jean Verame, 1986. Martha wears Vraie Jeune Fille by Mugler. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM
Moscow, Russia, 1986. Angela Wilde and Serguei wear Tailleur Espion and Costume Espion by Mugler. Photo: ©2019 Editions de la Martinière, une marque de la société EDLM

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 spring issue in the section the Artful Life. Subscribe to the magazine.

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