Guests arriving at the Courrèges show Wednesday morning wound their way up a long, dark tunnel reverberating with a techno thump, strobes occasionally flashing at their ankles. They ultimately alighted on a hushed room, at the center of which was a perfect, gleaming square of crumpled silver beer cans, like the aftermath of a colossal rave party.
The set was a wink to a 1973 Courrèges collection video shot at a wrecking yard for cars, the models shrieking as cars were lifted and dropped with a grappling claw. Backstage, artistic director Nicolas Di Felice described his fall effort as a mash-up between the brand’s Space-Age heritage and his own narratives, frequently referencing club culture.
It turns out Di Felice cherry-picked ideas from several collections from the ’60s, too, giving his own spin on basic geometric shapes. Circles were key, with rounds of fabric employed for the back of double-faced coats and jean jackets, giving these garments a unique shape and attitude, while square cuts on puffer jackets and oversized cloth coats offered dramatic sleeves reminiscent of bat wings.
These roomier styles should open up the brand to a wider clientele, even as Di Felice paraded the tiniest, shiniest miniskirts in town, some models tugging them down to cover their buttocks as they whisked around the perimeter of the crushed cans.
His Courrèges is unapologetically sexy, but in the language of graphic minimalism. He opened up diamond-shaped portholes of flesh on the sides of skirts and the outseams of pants, and triangular ones on the stomach. Many dresses, like the slim number worn by a newly red-haired Kendall Jenner, were carved out at the back, with high slits in the front.
The brand is now owned by Artémis, the family holding company of French billionaire François Pinault, and his wife Maryvonne was in attendance along with her son, François-Henri, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering. Exiting the show, one guest motioned toward the cans and quipped “Ready for recycling!” — alluding to the French group’s eco proclivities.