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Show Report

Show Report: Courrèges A/W 16 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 3 March 2016

Lucy Norris reports on the Courrèges A/W 16 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Courrèges A/W 16 womenswear show.

This is the second season into the house's relaunch, and Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant - the design duo behind the label - are keen to keep up the momentum. The main three newisms for Courrèges this season were themed around: design, tech, retail, and creative self-expression. The pair declared: 'make it new, make it warm, make it practical.' Firstly, let's deal with the practical. One third of the collection was available to buy from day-of-show, which they described as a 'common sense decision.' In total contrary to the recent statement from the governing body of French fashion, (official, lengthy title omitted) - it seems there is some strong debate to be had over what exactly ‘common sense’ is. This practicality then led onto their second desire: to keep us warm in the winter months. The duo can’t quite believe that ‘technology gives us miracles in our hands’ – yet we have so little in the offering of ‘smart garments.’ Their solution? Some of the pieces in the collection came with a button, which basically warmed up clothes. With a touch of the retro-naff about it, the designers took on the fashion technology space, with a joyful naivety – which also paradoxically addressed some basic questions and needs. It all felt very in line with the optimism within fashion, in Courrèges’ founding decade - the 1960’s.

Last season, the designers came and talked to the fashion pack face-to-face presenting and explaining their collection in person. That took guts. This season, it's a press release – which remains in broken French – that cleverly holds an authentic notion of a direct line with the creators themselves. The duo talked about the time when we get up in the morning, and choose what to wear. They don’t just feel that this is the ‘key moment in our day’, they say what we pick ‘says everything about our relation(ship) with the outside world.’

I'm not sure they entirely achieved this - but design wise, the duo did well to diversify their vision of the new, yet remain focused and concise. The coloured boxy bikers from the first collection - though still present - gave way to other options, such as modernist bombers and oversized sporty car coats. Sheer interface panelled coats in ultramarine or primary red resembled the building blocks of the brand, which the designers have previously spoken of. Not forgetting their – and everyone’s love - for an Instagram square. Four sided motifs also popped up in the guise of prints: a black and white storm trooper grid featured on shirting and tailoring - whilst an op art checkerboard one looked great as an outerwear print.  All of the girls wore sneakers – or some incredible wraparound flat strappy shoe, which looked like a creation every girl would like to own. The turtleneck and the A-line skirt was still the prevalent silhouette – but there was some much needed trousers that were added to the mix. This time around some boys showed up on the runway too. They were less Sixties, more Nineties, wearing not one plaid shirt but two – with one being tied at the waist. Talking of which, the most interesting component of the collection was an inverted crescent waistline on a woman’s skirt. It looked dynamic, sculptural, and utterly modern – and in terms of early morning wardrobe choice, it said ‘hello world.’

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