Thierry Mugler: Nothing Is Ever Too Extreme
(This is a guest post by Thierry Mugler. He recently wrote it for us at his office, the Bottega Veneta in Paris.)
I have been thinking about the world since the age of 11, having left the suburbs of Paris with a small suitcase and a bagful of dreams. I have visited every corner of every country and tried to grasp the essence of the people who live there. I can think of no way to do my job better than through a travel journal.
My family had money and I felt I could become whatever I wanted. I wanted to be a painter and I studied painting for a year or two, then discovered I was too tall and my paintings would have to be displayed in the basement.
The same year, I went to Japan with a friend to visit Mount Hiei, the sacred spot where the Japanese monks gathered to pray for their dead. We stayed there overnight, then had a day to go back to see Mount Fuji, the sacred temple there where Buddha had given his first teachings.
I could learn a great deal from these two places. I could become very serious about painting and even have a major piece hanging at the Galerie Vivienne now. But my heart was always restless; I wanted to travel.
To my mind, Japan and France, both very different in culture, have very little in common. Of course the Japanese are far more polite to foreigners than I am. They speak English, Japanese, French and often Chinese and the French are more formal than I am.
But French culture has made it very difficult for me to be in England and be myself. I have been in France so many times, it is the closest thing I have to a home. To be honest, I would like to live there because it is easy to be myself, but that would only make me a parvenu.
When I am in France it is very difficult for me to be in England. I am so close to my country and yet have been forced to come to London for work with a company.
I am not saying I want to be a painter again, I just want to be happy. But if you live in London and work in France, life comes in bits. When we have our first meeting with a client, that is when the problems start.
The only thing I know to be true is that if