Sep 30, 2015
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Revival of French brand Courreges starts with 'building-blocks'

Sep 30, 2015

Iconic sixties fashion house Courrèges made its comeback in Paris on Wednesday with a new vision of ready-to-wear, presenting a building-blocks collection of 15 designs in 15 different materials and colours.

The brand that made its mark with Andre Courrèges' futuristic space age designs went back to basics 13 years after its last runway show, under new creative directors Arnaud Vaillant and Sebastien Meyer.

Courrèges SS16 Paris Fashion Week - PixelFormula

In an unusual move, the designers took to the stage before the show to explain their new vision to the public.

"Since our beginning at Courrèges we took the notion of simplicity as a fundamental principle of our creative process," said Meyer, 26.

"This is why today you will not see like, lots of looks, you will only see 15 designs in 15 materials and colours."

Mixing and matching the looks can give 225 different outfits.

"We believe that ready to wear should express the spirit of ready to live, how we live today," Vaillant said.

A basic white bodysuit was teamed with a series of jackets, and a series of waistcoats with rounded edges.

Then it was paired with a series of high-waisted trousers and miniskirts -- one of the brand's most iconic pieces in the sixties, several of which also had the rounded edges.

Then came a few mini shift dresses.

- Leather, vinyl and suede -

"Women today are very switched-on. If you like your jacket, you will be delighted to find it in denim for the day, leather at night and mesh for the weekend -- it allows you to switch, project yourself into different moments," Vaillant said.

"Over time, we hope these building blocks will become a foundation in a full story, one that is still being written," he added.

Courrèges SS16 Paris Fashion Week - PixelFormula

The outfits were in a palette of bright yellow, brick-red, black, beige and blue while Courrèges' love of different textures remained with use of vinyl, leather and suede.

"We really studied the archives but then you have to step away," Vaillant said.

The last runway show by the fashion house was in 2002. Since 2011, when Andre Courrèges, now 92, handed over the reigns of the company to advertising duo Jacques Bungert and Frederic Torloting, presentations of collections have been by appointment only.

However the appointment of Meyer and Vaillant in May, who have their own brand, Coperni, took the revival of the brand into a new phase.

"The style, the Courrèges brand was so strong, we took our time to rebuild a platform to allow us to envision the second creative cycle," said Jacques Bungert, the president of the brand.

"Whenever we want to talk about modernity, we are inspired by Courrèges. And it just so happens the sixties were optimistic and that resonates today."

Paris's nine-day fashion frenzy is the last stop for the 2016 spring/summer womenswear collections after New York, London and Milan.

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