Thierry Mugler “Vampire Dress” 1981

This mid-thigh length dress is made entirely of black velvet. The sleeves include a strap hanging widely over the shoulders, met with a puffed up short sleeve connected only at the bottom. The dress is in amazing condition and still, takes the form it did on the runway. This dress appears lightweight and easy to wear. The dress relies solely on shape, craftsmanship, and material. This plain black velvet dress shows such uniqueness and beauty through the different directions of pleats and layers in the shirt, moving up to the tightly draped décolletage alongside the freely moving sleeves. Although touching the object isn’t allowed, I can imagine the short, but tufted and woven fabric would feel so smooth to the touch as if your hand is slipping off of it. As your fingers glide along the neckline you can imagine hearing the faint zip made by your hands running along the velvet. When looking at this dress it can put you in a very dark, almost evil mood. The shape of the dress exudes power and force, while it also shows such sexiness and intimidation, making an astonishing piece which will be timeless I believe Mugler wanted to create this piece to mesh the horror and love qualities of vampires into fashion. The way Thierry made these dresses as well as the models so they would look otherworldly, but at the same time, painstakingly beautiful. This dress was created in 1981 in Paris, France by none other than Thierry Mugler. Expressing one can be fetishized and respected in the same dress, it is a timeless piece which shows elegance in sexuality.

When I walked into the room surrounded by iconic pieces throughout time in fashion, I was taken back by all the different forms and fabrics which had been taking place spread across the gallery. I had been moving counterclockwise around the pieces showcased, taking in the details and materials for each. I could physically go up to the pieces, less than a foot away from most, and stare into the details of stitch lines and embroidered patches. Through this, I was able to experience these pieces in a different way. For the first time, I was able to see a Mugler dress in the flesh. I was able to trace the forms and stitching of amazing works done by Comme des Garcons. I could go into galleries available to me in order to see more pieces, as well as research books and items which may be archived in our city. If I wanted to continue visually observing these objects and see more of them I could travel to Paris and see more of Thierry Mugler’s collections, as well as try to speak to people who work around him, getting interviews on how the process is taken, etc. If you were to form research projects based on this piece by Mugler you could tie it to culture and fashion, the rise of couture, as well as fabric working with form or history of a ladies silhouette in fashion.

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