Everything You Need To Know About The Vintage Mugler That Zendaya Wore To The ‘Dune: Part Two’ World Premiere

Everything You Need To Know About The Vintage Mugler That Zendaya Wore To The Dune: Part Two World Premiere

On Thursday February 15, Zendaya, with a helping hand from stylist extraordinaire Law Roach, shut down the sand carpet at the world premiere of Dune: Part Two in London with a jaw-dropping ensemble from Thierry Mugler’s fall/winter 1995 haute couture collection. Mugler’s chrome jumpsuit, officially known as the Maschinenmensch, was initially intended to pay homage to a character from Thea von Harbou’s dystopian 1925 novel Metropolis, which was adapted into Fritz Lang’s most appreciated silent film Metropolis, which was released in 1927.

The vintage Mugler number that Zendaya wore is a full metallic armor set with silver panels, sheer plexiglass inserts, and corset-style details that hug the wearer’s body. The body armour is jointed by leather and rubber, and a plastic internal framework facilitates its movements over skin. The cyborg-inspired suit also features built-in gloves and silver heels to match.

The original runway version (more on that in a minute) featured a matching headpiece which Zendaya decided to forgo in place of a sleek hairstyle and a blinding blue diamond necklace.

Before his death on January 23, 2022, Mugler had designed similar custom pieces for a number of stars to wear: Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Janelle Monáe, Whitney Houston and more have all worn ensembles inspired by the Maschinenmensch. Beyoncé even wore an almost identical custom Mugler ensemble during her 2023 Renaissance World Tour. But the piece that Zendaya wore on the Dune sand carpet earlier today is the exact look that graced the brand’s Parisian runway more than two decades ago during Mugler’s 25th anniversary show. It’s quite a feat to obtain pieces from the Mugler archives, and even more of a feat for Law Roach to access this particular look which, seemingly, hasn’t been worn since it came down the runway in the ’90s.

Although his first collection, Cafe de Paris, came in 1973, Mugler spent the majority of the 1980s carving out a reputation as a ready-to-wear powerhouse, bringing sex appeal and unashamed flamboyance to the runway. In 1992, he made his couture debut in Paris – and by 1995, his shows were the highlight of every single season winning rave reviews and universal appraise.

Mugler’s fall/winter 1995 couture collection pushed the idea of fashion shows to the limit with models like Carmen Dell’Orifice and Naomi Campbell walking alongside porn stars, drag artists and a diverse selection of women cast from outside of the industry.

The collection itself combined couture construction with Mugler’s trademark sex appeal and featured ball-gowns with buttock cut-outs and lashings of black latex. Of course, the most memorable work from the 1995 collection came around twenty minutes into the show with a performance art piece that eventually revealed Mugler’s seminal ‘Cyborg’ suit. He had experimented with metal breastplates and sci-fi fantasies for years before this, taking inspiration from artists like Hajime Sorayama, but this look was truly next-level.

The model stepped out on the runway wearing a large hat and a purple duchesse satin evening coat. She performed a striptease on the runway, first revealing a see-through, black chiffon gown, tied at the waist, and then her body clad in molded metal and Plexiglass to evoke a robot.

This particular catsuit is officially known as the “Machinenmensch,” or Machine Human, and was designed over the course of six months in tandem with long-time Mugler collaborator and artist, Jean-Jacques Urcun. The story goes that in the beginning, Mugler was only interested in making a metal bra with Urcun… But eventually, the pair were inspired by the fictional character Futura from Thea von Harbou’s dystopian novel Metropolis (1925) and Fritz Lang’s most appreciated silent film Metropolis (1927).

The Machinenmensch robot suit was last seen in the “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” exhibit which premiered at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal in March 2019 before it was subsequently modified for a run at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime” exhibition brought together more than 140 garments made between 1973 and 2001, most of which were being shown for the first time, as well as a wealth of unpublished archival documents and sketches.

Everything You Need To Know About The Vintage Mugler That Zendaya Wore To The Dune- Part Two World Premiere - Installation Brooklyn Museum
ABOVE: Installation view, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime. Brooklyn Museum, November 18, 2022–May 7, 2023. (Photo: Danny Perez, Brooklyn Museum)

Need more Mugler? Read 10 things you didn’t know about French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler (1948 – 2022)

Tags: Law Roach, Mugler, red carpet, Thierry Mugler, top story, topstory, Zendaya

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