Andrè Courregès: the man of the Swinging London

Andrè Courregès: the man of the Swinging London

Andrè Courregès was born in 1923. He graduated in civil engineering and take part to the Second World War as an aircraft pilot.Back from the war, he decided to leave the world of engineering to embrace that of fashion. From that moment started his fashion revolution.

In 1949, his passion for design led him to be hired as a cutter by the Spanish Cristóbal Balenciaga, who had his atelier in Paris. In 1963 he opened a haute couture salon with his wife Coqueline Barrière. He is appreciated by famous people (from Italy, Gianni and Marella Agnelli), who loved the purity of the lines and the simplicity of the cuts.

"A typically automotive design" some tailors will say. 

Coco Chanel sinked the blade, suggesting that Courrèges taked sensuality away from women, to bundle them in white woolen garments that would be better worn by girls of 2 or 3 years. In reply Courrèges said that his fashion rejuvenated the ladies, without making them resort to a scalpel.

His style met the public’s favor, and for a decade he was one of the leaders of French high fashion. Since the seventies he had also designed eyewear, umbrellas, jewelry, perfumes, children’s clothing and wedding dresses.

His minimal chic style that depopulated: the essence of elegance enclosed in A-line dresses, from the skirt above the knee.

He anticipated the miniskirt, whose authorship is disputed with Mary Quant.

Straight and decisive lines with which he das revolutionized the female silhouette, abandoning the squeezed waist. His leggings that look like a second skin, the vinyl and pvc dresses with portholes, Have become the emblem of that feverish society that aspired to change.

The patterns adapted and prefered lines and squares taken from optical art: no initiated reference to the past. As matter of the fact the future was the only a source of inspiration, as it was for Cardin and Rabanne.

Courreges launched his fashion house in 1961. His eponymous label set the trends for such stars as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, who admired the designer’s ground-breaking geometry, plastic miniskirts, space-age silhouettes and futuristic textiles.

The ’64 Pierre Cardin presented the “Moon Girl Collection” which catapulted fashion into the robotic and space future. It marked the evolution of taste in a triumph of white and silver and the birth of Go-Go Boots, low white calfskin ankle boots.
The following year, 1965, which Vogue British calls “the year of Courrèges”, the eskimo lunettes was born, the iconic glasses in white plastic with the slit in the enormous lenses. In the 1970s, his success was consolidated, he designed the uniforms for the 1972 Munich Olympics, and created the first men’s collection.

“In life, you walk, run, drive a car and take a plane. Clothes must be able to move.”

In 1984 he moved to Tokyo, and remained there for a decade to carry out his research and projects.
At the end he handed the company over to the Japanese Itokin group, and went back to France.

Japan Collection, 1993

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