Concise, graphic, geometrical and sculptural – your mind automatically conjures up these adjectives upon seeing images of Courrèges' first Resort collection by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant (previously of design duo Coperni Femme).
There is actually also another definition that could be added to this list – architectural. Meyer and Vaillant shifted the attention on the clothes construction by photographing the pieces hanging in the maison's factory in Pau, at the foot of the Pyrenees, in Southwest France.
The modernist building was designed by the late André Courrèges in 1972 - at the time known "Le Corbusier of Couture" (he was a civil engineer and architect apart form being a fashion designer) - and was conceived in collaboration with local architects. The main idea for the all-white building was that it had to look like and upside-down bridge in the countryside. The factory was re-acquired and restore by Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, after they bought the brand from André Courrèges and his wife Coqueline.
As a whole the collection could be defined compact and minimal, based on a limited palette revolving around black and white (with some sparks of silver) rather than pop colours, and featuring utility pants, efficiently sporty miniskirts, mini-dresses, macs and textured vinyl jackets that looked as if they were made of leather. In a nutshel, the main elements forming the glossary Courrèges developed after he left his job as assistant to Cristóbal Balenciaga were there.
A sleeveless pinstripe top with rounded armholes looked like a wearable exercise in fluid geometries of the kind that may flatter a woman's body rather than vilifying it. The rounded pattern characterising this piece also replicated the curved roof of the Pau factory, in the same way a white shirt and a pair of leather white and silver boots seemed to evoke in their structures and shapes some of the architectural features of the building.
While we may not know for sure if the architectural link was intentional or if it may have casually happened when the designers visited the factory to work on the prototypes for this collection, one thing is certain, Meyer and Vaillant are keeping on exploring the brand's archives stored in the headquarters on the rue François Premier in Paris' 8th Arrondissement, trying at the same time to offer coherent and tightly edited collections to new and old fans of the label.
Yet, exploring the archives doesn't mean for the duo to forget about modern technology: fabric was indeed seamlessly welded and incorporated into the rubber macs and the miniskirts; the motifs similar to stitching on a white shirt were instead created by another technique developed with the help of a computer-assisted machine called Nucleus; the double-layered black shorts were made with 3-D-printed polyurethane and a silver mini-skirt and coat were covered with vinyl elements forming three-dimensional floral motifs secured by an innovative solution - hundreds of snaps and studs.
Though this may not be a wardrobe for cosmonauts from the '60s, it opens new possibilities for modern tech-heads. Guess Courrèges would have approved.
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