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ANDRÉ COURRÈGES

The master of mid-century Modernism

Courreges

André Courrèges [1923-2016] was the great modernist of 20th century fashion. Initially trained as a civil engineer, Courrèges flourished under the tutelage of the great couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga and having seen the pared-back simplicity of Balenciaga’s ethos and combined with his own training, Courrèges created a new and bold language in fashion.

Establishing his own house in 1961, Courrèges chose to look to the future rather than the past, with the 21st century woman being his inspiration, in a decade obsessed by the Space Race. Rigid shaping and sharp cutting were enhanced with militaristic details, welted-seams and resilient fabrics in order to dress the most modern woman.

Disillusioned with the notion and limitations of haute couture, Courrèges was the haute couturier who wanted to dress everyone and not just the wealthiest. An early proponent of pret a porter and with a desire to dress the women in the streets rather than the women in the front row, Courrèges and his modernist, avant-garde designs have become the benchmark of fashion in the 21st century.