Saturday, January 26, 2013

a Courrèges fashion mystery solved

So I've had this dress in the shop for a few months.  It looked very much like an André Courrèges dress to me.  He did so many dresses with these little scallop details in the 1960s.

1968 wool knit Courrèges dress, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My dress' tag is missing and I couldn't find another example that looked just like mine, so I figured it was a knockoff.  But kind and sharp-eyed fellow vintage seller (and Grand Rapidian) Love Charles alerted me via Tweet to the two photos below.  The top photo is from the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum's (FIDM) blog.  Here I learned that many Courrèges designs were knocked off during the 1960s, so much so that he suspended public showing of his designs from 1965-1967, and in 1967 released a lower priced line, Couture Future, to help disable the problem.

The second photo looks like my dress exactly (only, y'know, in black and white).  It comes from the fuckyeah60sfashion Tumblr, and as with so many things on the internet these days, led me pretty much nowhere source-wise.

However.  I've become fairly adept at tracking down image sources.  (Thank you, Google Images Search!)  I discovered that this image came from a 1968 UK Vogue shoot.  (Regular readers might be able to guess where this is heading.)  I trucked myself right over the the fabulous Youthquaker blog, and look what I found in the February 1968 UK Vogue!

Here's the Vogue copy:  "Harrods will be adding a new dimension, and particular sing, to spring by bringing Courrèges Couture Future to London...Brilliant, brief, disarming wool dress, left, Wild poppy red for the bright, short, scalloped top and scallop pockets. White for the collar, and swinging slip of a skirt."

This has me convinced that my dress is from the Couture Future line.  I've updated my Etsy listing (and yeah, the price, too).  Thanks so much for the heads up, Love Charles!



  1. Such a perfect mod dress! It's so exciting that you found it was an original!

  2. Such a perfect mod dress! It's so exciting that you found it was an original!

  3. Personally, as a sometimes collector of vintage, I wouldn't be comfortable purchasing it as an original without some authorization as such beside some photos you found online. There's a reason labels are removed and it's not bc they are itchy. I hope it's an original and that you find a buyer, but I'd be curious to see how a "maybe" original sells at the price an actual original sells for. Good luck.

  4. Laura, thanks so much for your comment as a "sometimes collector of vintage." As a full time collector and seller of vintage, I'm curious about your remarks. If I thought this dress was a "maybe" original, I would not have made this post.

    A good portion of the vintage I sell lacks labels. I'm not removing them--the original owner has. Whether it's because the label was itchy, or they didn't want the size shown...I don't know. But I'm more than a little a bit offended by the implication here that the label was removed for some nefarious reason. I'm not saying other vintage sellers remove labels for nefarious reasons...but do I? Do you have proof of this? Have you taken one second to look at my vintage listings on etsy? I'm guessing you haven't.

    This dress was bought from an estate. The original owner is dead. Maybe a medium could find out why she removed the label. Frankly, I don't care. I feel fairly confident in the information I've gathered so far--as laid out quite clearly in my blog post---to determine this is an original Courreges. I'd say the price I have on it is far from outrageous.

  5. Love this dress. Pinned:) New follower. Follow back

  6. Holy vintage amazingness Karen!
    That dress is so adorable and I'm so stoked you found evidence it's a piece from Courreges. I can imagine there were some moments of happy dancing! :D (Also, great reply to Laura)

  7. I'm convinced. All the details are correct. Good for you!

  8. I love that you found your dress in an old issue of Vogue UK.

    I'd just like to say that I've removed many a tag because it bugged me. Also, they do occasionally just fall off (especially vintage pieces). What happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it"?

  9. So exciting! I love all your sleuthing work to get to the bottom of the dress question!


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