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Courrèges FW22: Nicolas de Felice for a recently-revived heritage: we see a bit of Balenciaga here

Half a century after the brand’s heyday, another Balenciaga-influenced technician brings his vision for (now eco-responsible) vinyl to life for FW22 menswear

Courrèges Club – Courrèges FW22

Two years into a series of lockdowns, social distancing and the fraught social life that goes with it all, the world is yearning for the party drought to end. What ensues is a bizarre wistfulness for the still-recent 2019 and every mundane thing then taken for granted, now ripped away: smoking outside of the club; having a reason to squeeze into an impractically sexy get-up; the melee of chattering voices layered over techno thumping. Nicolas de Felice brings it all back for his tenure at Courrèges, turning up the party nostalgia for the pre-fall 2022 collection.

His original plan was to host a reprise of the Courrèges Club, a modern Roaring Twenties-worthy rave the house threw post-show back in September; the venue was a parking lot in the 18th arrondissement. It was supposed to become a tradition until Omicron got in the way.

Instead of scrapping the idea, De Felice decided to channel this energy into a lookbook and corresponding video presentation, directed by Lilian Hardouineau and set against a graffiti wall. 

The soundtrack, produced by Erwan Sewe, completed the scene with pulsating club beats and overlapping chit-chat. The models – including Bad Gyal, Miles Greenberg, Allegria Torassa and other boasters of nightlife notoriety – stood nonchalantly, checking their phones or adjusting their clothes as if killing time in line for the club, preparing for action. 

Lampoon, Courreges video lookbook
Courrèges FW22 menswear video lookbook

Courrèges FW22 collection

This is De Felice’s most daring collection since taking his post at the fashion house. Previous seasons were all about establishing himself at the legacy label; now he pushes his vision further. 

Though the signature silhouettes are incorporated in the collection (for both men and women), and the stark color palette features predominantly bleach-bluish white, black and firetruck red, it feels overall racier. 

There are cut-out bralets, glossy bodycon dresses and vinyl thigh-high socks hinting at the wearer’s kinky inclinations. Vinyl pervades this collection in true Courrèges spirit, though its 2022 version is eco-responsible, made from GOTS-certified cotton jersey base and vegetable-derived polyurethane. Still, there is no lack of everyday pieces like sheepskin jackets, baseball caps and sharply-tailored coats.

De Felice is not shy about his conviction to create thoroughly wearable clothes. He would rather see them on the streets than on red carpets. It already is happening, thanks to reasonable (compared to other luxury brands) prices and cuts optimized for comfort.

Nicolas De Felice

De Felice considers himself a technician first and foremost. The designer’s inclinations are a direct result of his time at Balenciaga under Nicholas Ghesquiere, where the latter taught him utmost precision in making each garment. He briefly worked with Raf Simons at Dior before succeeding Yolanda Zabel at the newly-revived Courrèges.

His vision for the brand references clubbing for good reason: before fashion, music was De FCourrègeselice’s greatest love. Growing up in Charleroi, a mining town in Belgium, he had no access to fashion magazines or billboards with the latest campaigns; he only had MTV and his favorite artists: Confetti, Speedy J, LA Style.

De Felice started clubbing at the tender age of 13, absorbing the pulsating beat of Benelux techno that would keep providing his inspiration for years to come. «I always think something is more powerful when you decontextualise it»

Courrèges heritage

Andrè Courrèges might be the only designer whose outfits landed on both Jackie O. and Miley Cyrus. Born in 1920s France, he studied engineering and served as an air force pilot during World War Two. After the war, he switched lanes entirely: to make his dressmaking dreams come true, he begged Cristobal Balenciaga for a free internship, which turned into a decade of work under the legendary couturier.

Having honed his skills, Courrèges started his own label with financial support from Balenciaga himself. His signature silhouettes, now referenced by his successor Nicolas De Felice, include mini dresses with cutouts at the ribs or sternum and go-go boots. A noticeable contrast between Courreges and De Felice is that the latter’s designs are sleeker and mature-looking.

During the founder’s heyday, the Courreges woman wore skirts exposing her thighs and quirky bonnets in pastels, reminiscent of a nursery. Based on that aesthetic, Coco Chanel accused him, at one point, of preferring toddlers to grown women.He used unconventional materials to bring his creations to life: PVC, plastic or metal were unheard of in midcentury’s high fashion.

Perhaps it was his educational background that fuelled his imaginative brain: a famous lover of white, he developed his own blue-tinted bleach to achieve a precise shade of fluorescent white. Courrèges was the first one to combine avant-garde geometry with athletic and youthful energy defining the 60s – his ultimate innovation.

Courrèges FW22

The collection, designed by Nicolas De Felice juxtaposed glossy vinyl and shearling jackets in an ode to clubbing, set against a graffiti backdrop. The video presentation substituted a real-life party planned for the occasion, channeling the Courrèges Club rave the house hosted back in September.

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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