Courreges Capsule Collection

Andre Courreges spent his early fashion career with a brief stint at Jeanne Lafaurie + then, in 1950, started a decade-long apprenticeship with the master couturier, Balenciaga. In 1961 Courreges branched out on his own and started his own couture house with his wife, Coqueline. His innovative designs quickly garnered him attention. In 1964 he turned the fashion world on it's head by launching his Space Age collection. The simple geometric shapes, cutouts, bright contrasting colors, metallics, unusual materials (PVC, leather, plastic, metal, fur) + astronaut-inspired accessories that would shape his output for years to come are all derived from that ground-breaking collection. Courreges is also often credited as the "father" of mini skirt although it's development coexisted with that of Mary Quant's so the actual credit is murky.

Courreges photoshoot by Irving Penn, 1964

Courreges couture dress, c.1964-65

Courreges designs, Vogue Paris, 1967

Courreges collection in Life magazine, 1968

Incredible cutout floral shorts, c.1968. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Courreges yellow wool dress, L'Officiel magazine 1969

Courreges metal bikinis, Vogue magazine 1969

Courreges designs, Vogue US 1970

Courreges designs, Vogue US 1970

Courreges white wool dress, L'Officiel magazine 1969

Courreges fox fur + suede coat, 1977

No Courreges outfit was complete without his signature accessories. He created a never ending line of boots, belts, bags, etc to compliment his simple designs, the most iconic being his 1965 Eskimo glasses.

Simone Paris in Courreges' iconic Eskimo glasses, 1965. Photo by Richard Avedon

Andre Courreges | Salvador Dali c.1965

Courreges white leather boots, c.1967. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Because many of his designs were so simple, they were widely copied. The loss of his intellectual property along with the pale imitations muddying his name, forced him to actually quit the business for a year until he could regain a firm hold on his licensing, design + production as he moved forward into the realm of ready-to-wear. There are many dates thrown about but the first mention of his Couture Future line that we could find was in the spring of 1968 as part of the spring '69 collections. This was quickly followed by the Hyperbole line (first mentioned in the Fall of 1970 as part of the Hiver 1971 collections).

Andre Courreges with model at Hyperbole show, 1973

L'Officiel magazine, spring 1971

Vogue Paris, May 1972

Whether you credit him with the mini-skirt or not, Andre Courreges' influence on the fashion world is undeniable. Throughout the 60's + 70's his Youthquake designs were inspiring some to borrow ideas + others to blatantly steal. His influence is still felt today from the cutouts in Tom Ford's iconic dresses for Gucci to the Prada coat shown below.

60s Courreges fur coat (MFA Boston) | Prada fur coat, Spring 2013

Shop the Courreges capsule collection at http://www.bustownmodern.com.

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