Rare Spring 1985 Thierry Mugler Bombshell Pleated Gold Lurex 'Shell' Dress
Thierry Mugler created his first personal collection in 1973 and by the 1980s he was an international sensation, known as the enfant terrible of French fashion. In 1992 he became an official member of Haute Couture with his first couture collection presented that same year. He was known for his exaggerated, strong lines and his runway presentations were equally as dramatic. 'Mugler saw the fashion show as an opportunity to build new worlds of fantasy, to tell the story of a heroine on an extraordinary adventure each season.'Early pieces are particularly hard to find. This wonderful and very rare dress is from the the Spring 1985 collection. I have included several reference photos from the show of pieces that share similar fabric, pleating techniques and that amazing shell feel of the bust from the runway show that season.
The dress is a masterpiece. This is a design that has been referenced countless times since it was first made but there is nothing out there that can compare to the original. It is made from a lightweight gold lurex that is draped and shaped to cover a fitted inner corset. This inner corset shapes and molds the body, while the exterior of the dress seems to simply glide over your curves. The skirt is cut to be fitted and curves in at the hem. It is so fitted that it has a slit up the back to allow you to walk. The bodice is amazing. Weightless, knife pleated gold lurex is wrapped around the body to meet in the middle. The bottom portion of this extends and curves down and around the hips where it then flares out to exaggerate your curves. Each breast is held in a high set interior cup and the pleats wrap over these, flaring out in the suggestion of having the breasts cupped and held in place by two shells. A small gold fabric strap is suspended between the cups for lift and added support. The pleats then curve around the back to meet in the middle there mimicking the front and adding to that hourglass feel. Gold colored snaps close the back and under those lie hidden interior lingerie hooks to close the corseted portion of the interior. It is a masterpiece and showcases his extraordinary approach to the female form and his tendency to made living sculptures out of his models. Excellent condition with one small note below.
The skirt is fully lined in an ivory silk and the bodice lined in a the same gold lurex used on the exterior. The corset is lightly boned and with formed ad sculpted interior breast cups. Above the waist, the inner corset hooks to close with lingerie hooks at the back and then the exterior fabric snaps to close over that. A zipper is then set below that starting at the waist. There is a small repair along the top of the seam of the back skirt slit. Tagged a vintage Mugler 42.
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10" from top of bodice to interior waist
Skirt: 28" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1-5) S/S 1985 Thierry Mugler Runway. / (6) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon. Quote in frist paragraph taken from the FIDM Museum Blog
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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