Tuesday, November 25, 2008
André Courrèges (born in 1923 in Pau) is a French fashion designer, known for his ultra-modern designs. Courrèges graduated in engineering before studying fashion and textile design. He worked for Balenciaga for ten years, which allowed him to develop great skill in cutting garments. In 1961 he established his own fashion house and began to develop a different look.
In his first appearance on the French couture scene, Courrèges introduced a revolutionary concept of styling: space-age clothes. His Spring collection of 1964 showed radically different clothes. These designs included angular mini dresses and trouser suits. The look was created by using heavyweight fabrics like gabardine. Many of the outfits had cut-out midriffs and backs and were worn without a bra. These were matched with flat boots, goggles and helmets taken from the equipment worn by astronauts. The stark shapes and white and silver colour scheme immediately earned the name Space Age.
Courrèges' fashion shows were organised by his wife. These were lively presentations featuring athletic, partially nude models.
Courrèges became interested in shorter skirts at the same time as Mary Quant was designing them and there has been some controversy over who 'invented' the miniskirt. He also promoted trousers for women. At the time, these were worn only on informal occasions, but Courrèges introduced slim, tapering trousers for everyday and smart wear.
Among Courrèges' later creations were sweater pants, parkas, tennis dresses, beach clothes and mechanic-style coveralls. In contrast he also came out with a glow-in-the-dark jersey dress and an array of sexy swimsuits, held together only by thin strings on the sides. He favored bright acid colors and geometrical designs. He was the most copied and plagiarised dress-designer of his era.
Like the majority of big name couturiers, Courrèges now sells accessories, luggage and perfume in addition to his clothing ranges. He holds an almost mythical status in fashion, especially in France, as well as being remembered as a truly great designer.