Remembering Manfred Thierry Mugler Through His Iconic George Michael Collaboration, “Too Funky”

Manfred Thierry Mugler, an iconic French fashion designer whose garments pushed boundaries and thrilled all those who wore them (or admired them from afar), has passed away at 73. A professional ballet dancer by 14 years old, he moved to Paris in his early 20s and worked as a freelance designer for various houses before launching his eponymous label in 1974. By the ’80s he had established himself as an industry trailblazer, creating dramatic silhouettes and working with unexpected materials. His broad inspirations—from ’40s glamour to late ’70s sci-fi, insects, vampires, mermaids and beyond—manifested in surreal, sublime garments. He created countless legendary moments over his career (including the Botticelli-inspired Venus Dress) and one such sensation was George Michael’s 1992 “Too Funky” music video. The video (centered on a concept by Jeff Beasley, conceived after he saw a Mugler show) was co-directed by Mugler and Michael—with the fashion designer creating all the extraordinary looks. Across four minutes, costume, drama, ingenuity, sex, beauty, audacity and euphoria saturate the screen.

Image courtesy of George Michael and Manfred Thierry Mugler