If you are to know one thing about André Courreges, it is that he is the King of Space Age Couture. Making many contributions throughout his career, Courreges brought something new and unique to the fashion world. Without him dramatic colour blocking and exaggerated patterns would have waited for the next designer.
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Having studied civil engineering, Courreges initially was interested in architecture and he later switched over to textiles and ultimately fashion design. In 1950, Courreges was hired to the House of Balenciaga where he started as a cutter and learnt from the Master how to be a serious, committed perfectionist.
In 1961, Courreges left Balenciaga to open up his own couture house alongside with his wife who also worked at Balenciaga. It was here that Courreges began to develop his own ideas and designs and his breakthrough was in 1964 when he showcased his “Space Age” collection – then becoming one of the most popular designers of the 60’s and ultimately a legend in fashion history.
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Courreges’ early designs were similar to Balenciaga’s in the sense of their architectural quality – square and triangular. Some of his major impacts in the 60’s included all-white collections, zany accessories such as sunglasses with “slit” tennis ball lenses & oversized helmets, and short white baby boots (which are still known today as go-go boots). Combinations of the previous rocketed down the runway and still float in and out of trend.
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In 1965, Courreges sold his business and began to do custom work for clients. A few years later, in 1967, he returned with see-through dresses, knitted cat suits, and a nude look in sheer fabrics with strategically appliqued flowers.
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Courreges broke back into the fashion world and began to sell accessories, luggage, perfumes, and menswear across the world. Due to a major reappearance of the 60’s in fashion, Courreges became very influential once again. In 1994 he collaborated with Castelbajac to create a tour de force collection.
Although the house became inactive as of 2006 in the fashion world, years later in 2011, Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting acquired the company and revived it back to life. They have since been creating successful collections that stay true to Courreges’ iconic routes, in a more modern light. The collection is currently available exclusively at Sak’s Fifth Avenue and their online store. Through these two amazing business partners, the Courreges name and style still lives on.
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