"Now that is the freshness of youth," said one high-placed industry insider at the end of the top-notch debut collection by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant for Courrèges.
Truer words have never been uttered as the designer duo hammered home the idea that they wanted to create a collection of wardrobe staples for the fans that had followed them from their ANDAM award-winning work at Coperni. Thus they went with the bold idea of only showing 15 pieces in 15 materials and colors.
Before the show began, the earnest French designers came out to explain (in English) that "we believe that ready-to-wear should express the spirit of ready-to-live." And that the 15 designs would be "building blocks" that would eventually "become an inspiration for a fully story. One that is still being written."
They then proceeded to show, both on a video screen backdrop and their half-moon runway, jackets, pants, skirts and dresses that honored the space age 1960s heyday of the house with glossy fabrics and mod-suffused silhouettes. However, there was an explicit update to the cuts and construction of the garments.
Short jackets came with front flaps of fabric at the top of the torso that reached further across the body then below for a cool geometric effect. Skirts — that were two circles of fabric snapped together at the sides — sexily dared you to do a bit of unsnapping. As for the pair's take on trousers, again a button edging was used. This time curving along the upper derrière and down the legs. Dresses too were constructed with a wrapping of buttons circling down and around the fabric or appeared in a more traditional mod shift shape but beefed up with a circular basket weaving fabric treatment.
This was 15 shades of Courrèges and all of them enticing.
The important thing now is to make sure that the price points of these pieces fit in with the cool urban youthquake perspective the duo have brought back to life at the brand. It would be a shame if their work doesn't reach the people that inspired it.