There are fashion designers, and then there are bold one of a kind revolutionaries who rock the fashion world. While this is undeniably a rare breed, someone who easily qualifies as a member of this exclusive club is Andre Courreges, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92. His architectural, space age designs were youthful, energetic, sporty, spare, clean lined, and fuss free.
|Courreges 60’s cropped vinyl jackets|
They were designed for freedom of movement, and to enable women to move speedily through the paces of their lives (he eschewed high heels in favor of pancake flats). In other words: the essence of modern. It’s worth noting that during the course of my 2003 “Masters of Fashion” interview with Bill Cunningham, I asked him to name the “three most memorable moments of his career”. Without skipping a beat, he answered: 1 – Dior’s New Look in 1947 “feminine romance” 2 – The “totally pure designs” of Andre Courreges (“something you never saw before…he invented the third sex”) 3 – The birth of French ready-to-wear.
|Wearing my vintage Courreges jacket|
It’s a fitting tribute that in my admittedly overstuffed closets, one of my all-time favorite pieces, and the one that I find myself always going back to, is my beloved vintage 60’s black vinyl cropped Courreges with funnel neck, white snaps, and over sized white logo. (Even though I don’t consider myself a logo person, this is one case where the logo really works). Though it’s more than 50 years old, it could not be more perfect and more of the moment.
|Jean Shafiroff in Courreges pink jacket with
Zang Toi and Chiu-Ti Jansen
Every designer should only hope to create such an item that is not only symbolic of their work and instantly recognizable, but highly sought after (almost mythical), season less and completely timeless. Coincidentally, last month, I attended Jean Shafiroff’s Holiday Luncheon in honor of the New York Mission Society at Michael’s Restaurant. In a room filled with well dressed women, she certainly stood out wearing her hot pink vinyl Courreges jacket which was paired with a neon green skirt and black turtleneck.
|Courreges black crinkly patent cropped jacket spring 2016|
During spring 2016 Paris Fashion Week last September, Courreges unveiled their new vision, now under the design tutelage of Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant. The duo wisely focused on re interpreting house icons: skinny ribbed knits, abbreviated shifts, miniskirts, cropped pants, and cropped jackets. The latter of which literally stole the show in everything from crinkled patent and silver metallic to patchwork leather, and suede.
But true to form, I still gravitate to the originals. They may be getting harder and harder to find, but are still available. And just a note: they generally run rather small.
A quick search on Ebay turned up a vintage 60’s black vinyl cropped jacket See here
and a vintage fleece lined silver metallic bomber jacket See here
Unsurprisingly, on 1st dibs (www.1stdibs.com), where you can basically find anything, there were several good examples.
Static Vintage is selling a baby blue vintage cropped Courreges jacket for $875.See here
Shrimpton Couture has a nude color 1960’s jacket, $1200.See here
And there are three in orange ($1200 – $1300). One is being offered by Shrimpton Couture See here
Another is for sale by Foxy Couture See here
And finally, there is another for sale by Allison’s Vintage Clothing See here
FYI, this dealer is also selling a pair of very rare 80’s Courreges Mary Janes, $875. See here
Though in terms of rarity, perhaps nothing is rarer or more unusual than Espace Camille’s 1980’s Andre Courreges Limited Edition Bicycle for Peugeot, $5,573.57. See here
I used to shop at the Courrèges boutique on E 57th and in Manhasset
He indeed made a man’s version of the iconic vinyl jacket. Alas, I was too tall to fit in it. So disappointed. But I bought one for my girlfriend and enjoyed it vicariously. What a talented man.