I was on fence with Nicolas di Felice‘s take on Courrèges since his debut collection. But his truly cool spring-summer 2023 offering proved that the designer is capable of making the brand truly his own – without falling down the rabbit hole of Courrèges’ archives. First of all, Di Felice knows how young people want to dress everyday, especially for parties: in body-con separates and dresses that reveal as much as they conceal. His spring show conjured morning-after-a-beach-rave vibes. The set helped tell the story. In an otherwise unremarkable white studio far out of town, a circle of sand had been installed. As the music cued up, more sand began streaming from the ceiling like an hourglass, slowly at first and then faster, so that the accumulating pile started sinking as the models made their slow circuits around it. Having made the house Re-Editions into big sellers, Di Felice is looking beyond the obvious at Courrèges. He dug a vintage scuba jacket out of the archive and used its ergonomic lines to inspire a leather motorcycle coat, for one example, and he’s broken free of the starchy mod shapes so closely linked with the house history. The sensation Di Felice was after for spring was fluidity, thus the surf and scuba motifs, a recurring theme this season, and a “coral” dress made out of silicone. And thus the silhouettes draped and wrapped around the body. Since it was the morning after, models carried their slingbacks in their hands, or wore their jean jackets around their waist like a makeshift shirt (buttons down the back and exterior straps made that possible). Other pieces came with similar built-in straps to make them easy to carry when they come off on the dance floor, on the commute, or at the desert rave.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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