André Courrèges

© DR

André Courrèges, nicknamed “Le Corbusier of couture”, received an engineer’s training, offering an “architectural” approach to couture. He was the first to integrate simple, pared-down geometric forms into women’s clothing and to introduce the mini-skirt into France. He was also a firm supporter of trousers for women. His view of fashion is intrinsically linked to a search for liberation of the female body: girdles, brassières and so on were abolished in favour of combi-shorts, suits with large pockets, casual pants, ‘graphics’ and capri pants. With his avant-garde spirit, Courrèges introduced the idea of a liberated female body and the notion of active women’s wear into haute couture.

Born in Pau in 1923, Courrèges studied at the École National des Ponts et Chaussées. From 1941 to 1945, he was a pilot in the air force. After the war, he moved to Paris where, in 1950, he became the assistant of the great fashion designer Balenciaga. In 1961, he opened his own house of couture and launched a series of successful lines: his collection Fille de Lune (1964), all in geometric shapes, constituted his first revolution, immediately followed by a second, in 1965, when he introduced the miniskirt into France. In 1969, he once again caused a sensation with his creation of the “second skin” suit. In 1972, he released his first line of perfume, Empreinte, and, the same year, he designed the costumes for the Olympic Games in Munich. In 1973, the Courrèges Menswear line was created, followed in 1980 by Courrèges Design. He retired in 1996 and his wife Coqueline took over the business.



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