André Courrèges was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century; in the mid-1960s he changed the way women dressed, and did so almost overnight. His designs included angular mini dresses and trouser suits. 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 color scheme immediately earned the name Space Age.
André Courrèges brought us the triangle shaped shift dress as the defining silhouette for the 60’s. He privileged geometric forms and primary colours and worshiped the modernist architect and designer Le Corbusier.
The hat that Audrey used in “How to Steal a Million”, 1965, was, according to Givenchy’s Hubert, the true inspiration for the futuristic style of André Courrèges.
Courrèges thought the designer, not the client, knew best, and proudly refused to negotiate changes in his styles with the Duchess of Windsor. He liked to compare his atelier to a laboratory.
André Courrèges Eskimo or Eclipse or Slit white sunglasses, 1965.
Danish model Lotte Tarp wearing André Courrèges shades and costume with Salvador Dalì in his house in Port Ligat, Spain.
He once said: “My problem is not rich embroidery, useless lavishness. It is to harmoniously resolve functional problems, just like the engineer who designs a plane.”
His clothes are forever absolutely emblematic of their time, at times he has been referenced by everyone from Marc Jacobs to Karl Lagerfeld and, at its height, was one of the key couturiers for the jet set. Rose and Jacqueline Kennedy, Gloria Guinness, Paulette Goddard, Françoise Hardy, the Duchess of Windsor and Lee Radziwill were among those who wore his designs.