Nicolas Di Felice gradually builds his credentials at Courrèges. For the spring-summer 2022 show, the label invited its guests to Bois de Vincennes. It’s a park a long way from the center of Paris with personal meaning for him – it’s where he and his boyfriend first kissed. The wide-open space also vibed with the mood of the collection, which was space-age rave. “I wanted to work on this idea of an outdoor party,” he said in the backstage tent. On his mood board, pictures of music festival kids were juxtaposed with photos of archival pieces from the brand’s ’60s and ’70s heyday. The opening looks were ponchos of varying dimensions, rainwear being essential to the festivalgoer’s wardrobe. One was a circle, another was a triangle, and a third was a square, and all three cut a strong line as the models made their long walk around the perimeter of the square runway. Di Felice has prioritized outerwear since arriving at Courrèges a year ago, and he was proud to report that he’s already clocked a couple of his jackets in the wilds of Belleville, his neighborhood. Long ribbed-knit pants that flared over chunky-heeled sandals, A-line minis, and the label’s cropped vinyl jackets numbered among the other key pieces. “André Courrèges really wanted to put his fashion in the streets,” said Di Felice. “Everybody talks about him – the future, space age. But space age was a trend. He was a passionate guy; he just wanted to dress women.” Like founder, like creative director. Shift dresses with sternum cutouts and halter bandeaus worn over hip-slung pants were the descendants of a 1976 dress, Di Felice pointed out backstage, but they owed just as much to the arbiters of today, with their exposed abs, as they did to the iconic designer. Same for the baseball caps and shoulder-duster earrings.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.