Deceptive Simplicity

Although he is best known today for his avant-garde "Space Age" designs in futuristic materials like plastic and metal, couturier André Courrèges (b. 1923) was equally celebrated in the 1960s for his impeccable tailoring, a legacy of his early training with Cristóbal Balenciaga

André Courrèges, Paris
c. 1968
Gift of Mrs. Alfred Bloomingdale

On February 5, 1963, the Los Angeles Times noted: "Buttons and pockets play an important role in the Courrèges look. Indescribable tricks of seaming that are as complicated as the deceptive simplicity they project account for shaping that is no less than superb." This A-line coat adheres to that description. 


It is formed entirely of French seams which highlight elongated armscyes, outline the sides and edges, and delineate distinctive pockets–complex construction functioning as ornamentation. A series of intricately knotted and varnished leather buttons in double-breasted formation add bullet points to this geometric coat.


The Courrèges label was relaunched last month–under the creative direction of Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant–with its first runway show in 13 years, and recently collaborated on a makeup collection with Estée Lauder. Always ahead of his time, Courrèges seems right at home in the 21st century.

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