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André Courreges (1923 - )
Related: French culture - fashion
Andre Courrèges started his career in the fashion business working for Balenciaga handling fabric for $25 a month. He opened his own fashion house in 1961. Clothes from his early lines were styled in the conservative tradition of haute couture. In 1964, however, he shocked the couture fashion world when he raised hemlines above the knee.
Dress by André Courrèges, photo credit unidentified
ProfileAndré Courrèges, born 1923, is a French fashion designer. He had his own business in Paris from 1961. In 1964 he introduced long trousers for women and he was the inventor of the go-go boots. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%E9_Courr%E8ges [Apr 2005]
André Courreges was a French designer who worked for Balenciaga before opening his own house in 1961. Courreges is thought to be the 'father of the mini,' but he did invent the moon girl look. He produced media-grabbing collections with creations such as sheer chiffon tops, with cut-outs and peep holes. In 1964 he was preoccupied with space age white and he launched his Moon Girl Collection, which contained thigh high skirts in white and silver colours and geometric shapes. He was influential in establishing white and silver as THE colours of the season. His models wore spacemen-like helmets. He created shiny white mid-shin high PVC boots to go with his collection. This look was so popular that everyone everywhere created and sold their own interpretations of the look. He introduced trouser suits into his collection in 1964 and they soon entered main stream fashion on a large scale. In 1969 he created his 'gladiator girl' look complete with breastplate and helmet. His ethnic look was influenced by ancient Egyptians and contained outfits made from heavily sequined bands held together by transparent silk. His models wore squared off bob wigs in metallic colours.
André Courreges created a pair of pure white ankle length boots with almost completely flat soles to accompany his collection for 1964. These simple boots created quite a stir because they were relatively different from shoe styles at the time, but they were embraced by the fashionable youth, and soon every designer and his dog had released their own version of Courreges’ boot.
In the same collection Courreges launched the ‘space-age’ look, which was a form of futurism. The clothes in this collection were crisply cut and mostly all white but sometimes with black accents and stripes. These were the clothes of tomorrow for the new fun youth. It was the antitheses of conventional status dressing and also allowed young girls to rebel from their parents generation through clothing.
Courreges’ success was followed by Paco Rabanne’s 1966 interpretation of the futuristic theme. Rabanne created clothing using plastic, metal and even chain mail. This extreme look caught on commercially in the form of chain link belts, heavy metal necklaces and disk like earrings. Pierre Cardin also created his version of the space age look with stylised visored helmet hats and shift dresses. --Mandy Hoeymakers, http://www.geocities.com/FashionAvenue/Catwalk/1038/futurism.html, [Apr 2003]
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