Courrèges: The revival rockets ahead
No brand in France today is witnessing a more energetic revival than Courrèges, which staged a sexy, hyper modern high-speed show in Paris on a sunny Wednesday morning.
Courrèges, known as the original and most famous French Futurist fashion house, has never seemed more contemporary than today, as Nicolas di Felice works his magic tough chic touch.
Adding to the punch, di Felice is a great showman, this season building a precise pale gray quadrant, then unleashing four walls of vapor, so his cast walked out of an urban fog. A setting made all the more surprising by its location, inside an architecture college in the bottom of Paris' 5th arrondissement.
“My inspiration was really the telephone, and how it is ever present in our lives,” explained di Felice, who had the first few models walk around the show-space reading texts on their mobiles.
The show opened with cocoon coats, hoodies and jackets in leather, latex, wool check and Courrèges’s signature patent plastic. Except all of them were cut with vertical slits, from which the arms peeked out, as the sleeves dangled. A great tailoring trick, and handy for texting. Looks often paired with stretch leather thigh boots that reached to the crotch.
The collection also marked a radical shift away from Courrèges’ fetish material, padded plastic, and to more casual fabrics. Fresh wool, stretch and lighter leathers, “casual fabrics, pinstripe and the sort of materials you see in the metro,” stressed di Felice.
Adding in big statement, geometric circles are cut into leather cocktails, sleek tops and sheathes – Ye Ye singers for 2023.
He also often accessorized with circular pieces of jewelry, five-inch diameter amulets or four-inch earring, circles that also dovetailed with the brand’s DNA.
“The updated O is like our emblem of our community now,” added di Felice, in a post-show chat backstage.
Before gradually morphing into an almost New Age finale with leather and more draping with beautiful sleek semi-sheer tops, added to slashed long skirts with trains. While a series of remarkably well draped mini cocktails, some with huge brand name script showed a highly confident designer at work, at the peak of his power.
Nostrils flaring, eyes wide open, the cast clearly loved the clothes in a collection without a single weak look or bum note. Backed up by a soundtrack that began with rush hour chatter and ended with a storming remix of Otherlover’s Backchat, as the cast finally emerged out of dense clouds to immense cheers.
“Fog, but a smoky screen like city fog more than a nightclub. So, the audience is one second very close and the space apparent and next they all disappear,” smiled Nicolas.
In effect, his cast was dressed rather like the designer himself, with skinny jeans, hoodie and leather jacket. In a word, the collection was so good, at the finale one wanted to see another half dozen looks.
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