Thierry Mugler's perfume "Angel" comes in a bottle shaped like an off-kilter star; it's a telling choice. At first glance, Mugler's designs seem like a 1970s version of space age, with lots of pointy spears, big shoulders, and gravity-defying basques, all executed in his shimmering, "classic" materials--vinyl and leather. But the real influence is late 1920s and '30s Hollywood, the days when Edith Head and Adrian were designing gowns for Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, and Jean Harlow. And it's these outsize personalities who are the key to Mugler: his ideal woman is a dominatrix-cum-star; fashion for him is a "very demanding mistress." So he fills his runways with character supermodels (Jerry, Eva, Naomi, Cindy) and an eclectic mix of stars (Cyd Charisse, Diana Ross, Sharon Stone, Ivana, Tippi Hedren)--in Mugler's words, "personalities who know and accept who they are and fashion themselves accordingly."
This beautifully designed book brings together more than 250 photographs--some by the man himself, others by stars in their own right (Helmut Newton, David LaChapelle)--from his diverse ventures: the first public fashion show, George Michael's "Too Funky" video, Macbeth for the Comédie Française. The collection proves Mugler to be an utterly distinctive, yet endlessly inventive, talent. --Alan Stewart