The Thierry Mugler label, revived in 2008, is rumored to be shopping for a new creative director. The status of current artistic director Rosemary Rodriguez is unknown.
WWD reports that Gareth Pugh is the front-runner for the position, which is understandable and probably true. Pugh’s dramatic silhouettes and unconventional designs reject the traditional conception of ready-to-wear and flirt with the idea of fashion as art, much like Mugler did in the late ’70s and ’80s. Pugh is also a responsible choice since he is only 29 years old, the perfect age for a position that Mugler’s owners will expect him to fill for at least ten to fifteen years.
Jean Paul Gaultier is like Thierry Mugler’s fashion brother. They designed at the same time and both create structural masterpieces that transcend the typical conceptions of fashion. Sure, Gaultier’s touch is more eccentric and exotic compared to the futuristic robots of Mugler and Pugh, but it’s the similar love of sex appeal that makes Gaultier perfect for the job.
Mugler’s most famous works are his kinkiest, and while we trust Pugh to bring the drama, we can’t say we trust him to bring the sex. The goth and the punk, sure, but the downright metal nipple rings sexy… not so much. Mugler, who currently designs costumes for Beyoncé, and Gaultier, who designed for Madonna, are fashion soul mates.
And with Gaultier recently out at Hermes, he’s got the free time in his schedule to take on a second project. The only inhibitor we can think of is his age, 58. Also, we think Thierry Mugler, the man not the brand, would rather die than see Gaultier in charge of his house, since their over-the-top sexy designs went head-to-head in the 1980s, and Gaultier seems to have come out the victor, considering he is a household name who still runs his own company while Thierry Mugler shuttered in the ’90s.
With Pugh probably in at Mugler, it seems like Paris’ major houses are getting a British makeover. Giles Deacon just took over the helm of Emannuel Ungaro with help from Katie Grand, Christopher Kane is in at Versus Versace, and Phoebe Philo has been holding it down in Paris for years, recently at Celine and previously at Chlöe (where fellow Brit Hannah MacGibbon currently resides). Watch out France, the British are coming!