‘Thierry Mugler Had That Fire.’ John Epperson Remembers the Fashion Visionary

Thierry Mugler had that fireplace. He had the fervour, not solely the massive imaginative and prescient but in addition the meticulousness wanted to design garments nicely—right down to what precisely a curve ought to seem like, and the way it ought to be executed.

I first met Mugler, who died at 73 on Jan. 23, in 1989 when he found my off-Broadway present—I carried out as my über-glam feminine character, Lypsinka. He employed me to leap out of a cake at his party; he later stated he wished me to be part of his spring/summer season 1992 runway present at Paris Trend Week. This was one thing that I had lengthy dreamed of: to be in a Parisian style present sporting ladies’s garments.
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We understand that your physique kind just isn’t the identical as our home mannequin, he instructed me because the present was approaching. Nicely duh, I’m a person. So I went to Paris two weeks earlier than the present, only for fittings. That was fairly glamorous—it was my Humorous Face second.

My efficiency concerned me peeling away layers of my look as I lip-synched and posed and actually crawled down the catwalk; from a parody of Dior’s Fifties New Look in black to a sequined cowgirl-meets-showgirl costume to what I known as a Russ Meyer baby-doll robe. It gave the seen-it-all-crowd one thing to cheer about. After the Paris occasion, we labored collectively at exhibits in Tokyo and Los Angeles, in addition to within the iconic George Michael music video “Too Funky,” itself a stylized model of the real-life chaos backstage.

Mugler had an awesome humorousness and an irreverence about style. He favored to see European and American pop sensibilities collide with couture. It’s been stated that my efficiency in his present was a watershed second for queer illustration in mainstream style. Did we all know that then? I don’t know. We didn’t say, “Let’s do the queerest factor we are able to consider.” We didn’t analyze. Wanting again, I believe we have been provocateurs who noticed the runway as a spot for Surrealist theater, and that’s what Mugler continued to create, fantastically, till he selected to cease.

—As instructed to Sanya Mansoor


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