Boys Exit Courrèges

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Parisian fashion houses don’t stop playing musical chairs. While Clare Waight Keller and Natasha Ramsay-Levi are presenting their debut collections at Givenchy and Chloé respectively this September, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant exit Courrèges after just two years of creative direction. The couple was hired in 2015 by French advertising executives Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, who acquired Courrèges in 2011 from the brand’s namesake founder André Courrèges. Although Courrèges was the 20th century synonym of fashion modernism in Europe, the maison‘s name appears to be not as well-known as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel or Balenciaga today. Actually, reviving Courrèges seemed to be complicated since the very beginnings. First, other old French brands like Paco Rabanne and Vionnet where being revitalised at approximately the same time, evidently with greater funds and patience. Second, Sébastien’s and Arnaud’s sophistication and desire to keep Courrèges a rather quiet, celebrity-free brand is hardly possible in today’s industry – unfortunately. And that’s quite a pity, as their collections intriguingly redefined Courrèges codes in a truly modern way – no big venues or fuss, but  pure focus on the clothing.

According to the official statement, François Le Ménahèze, who was named president of Courrèges in April 2017, will announce the brand’s new designer when the time comes. But what does the future hold for the extremely talented Meyer and Vaillant? It’s worth remembering that the duo set aside their well-received by editors and retailers label Coperni Femme to focus on Courrèges. Will they return to their roots? Or are they planning a new venture into another fashion house? For now, lets look back at the boys’ achievements at Courrèges.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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Come As You Are. Courrèges AW17

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Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant of Courrèges resigned from doing a typical fashion show and simply invited their friends to wear this season’s clothes. The way they wanted, with no stylists. Vinyl miniskirts paired with models’ own vintage tees and Nike shoes; lilac mini-dress in patent leather over a motocross shirt; a logo cabas bag and dirty Vans, as easy as that. Andre Courrèges designed and presented clothes for women of his times – Meyer and Vaillant are doing the same, with success. “It’s come as you are“, one of the designers concluded.

Matrix Chic. Courrèges SS17

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Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant presented their third collection for Courrèges, and although it was fairly slammed by the critics, I loved how this couple (both in life and at work) continue to re-invent this historic house. The primary focus was on dresses, which used to be André Courrèges’s best-selling signatures. Kept in frivolous mini lengths and polished white, the silhouettes matched the modernist approach to fashion of the brand’s founder. But also, they appeared to look like perfect dresses for a Courrèges girl of today. The collection featured patent-leather jackets with the brand’s arty logo, and lovely suede bikers worn over flares. Oh, and those Matrix glasses. Lily and Lana Wachowski had their own vision of the future world; Meyer and Vaillant re-image the term “contemporary” in Paris.

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