French designer Courreges, who symbolized 1960s style revolution, is dead at 92 | News | DW | 08.01.2016
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French designer Courreges, who symbolized 1960s style revolution, is dead at 92

French fashion designer Andre Courreges lost his 30 year battle with Parkinson's disease. The 92-year-old was a style mainstay in the 1960s.

French fashion designer Andre Courreges, who revolutionized the fashion industry in the 1960s, has died at the age of 92, the fashion company that bears his name announced on Friday.

Courreges, who battled Parkinson’s disease for 30 years, retired from his vocation in the mid-1990s.

Born on March 9, 1923 in the southern French city of Pau, Courreges was a radical force in 1960s fashion, with space-age styles that helped define a generation.

It was his 1964 "Space Age" collection that thrust him into the spotlight and made him France’s top fashion designer for a short time.

He created angular mini skirts and trouser suits in stark black-and-white color schemes, then highlighted the designs with oddities such as goggles and helmets taken from astronauts. It was popularly known as the Moon Girl look.

He created formal trousers for women, and found himself at the center of an unending dispute with Mary Quant over who first popularized the miniskirt.

Six models wearing identical white skirts over nearly transparent body suits.

Among othe things, he popularized the miniskirt; and his were said to be the shortest of the short.

Regardless of who came first his revealing designs (his skirts were widely regarded as the shortest) came to symbolize the Swinging Sixties. That he infused his designs with eye-popping colors and heavy materials such as gabardine only help propel his hugely popular designs and influence.

Another 1960s pop icon - Andy Warhol - embraced Courreges’ futuristic style, especially his designs that were laden with metal.

"Courreges clothes are so beautiful, everyone should look the same, dressed in silver," Warhol once said. "Silver merges into everything, costumes should be worn during the day with lots of make-up."

Courreges is flanked by two models waering his mini length dresses from his 1968 spring and summer collections

Models show off two of his mini-length dresses

Courreges initially studied civil engineering, and worked in the field, before jumping to fashion and creating his own fashion house in 1961. He was also a pilot in World War II.

After his burst of success in 1964, he sought to popularize fashion by creating more modest versions of his clothes that the average consumer could afford to buy.

Among other designs, he is credited with creating the staff uniforms for the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.

Courreges married his assistant, Coqueline Barriere, in 1967. She took over artistic direction of the company upon his retirement.

bik/msh (AFP, AP)

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