One of the prevailing themes for the Spring 09 season saw designers exploring form and function. This concept focused on the shape of garments as well as the reinterpretion of familiar silhouettes. The idea of allowing shapes to dominate in the design process is not new as many designers, especially from the 1960s, such as Rudi Gernreich, Mary Quant and Andre Courreges, took their inspirations from architecture and space age exploration.
Vogue|Vintage spotlights André Courrèges who was a French fashion designer known for his ultra-modern designs. He initially began his career designing for Balenciaga, but eventually opened his own house in 1961. His approach to design was heavily influenced by his civil engineer background. He was described as building rather than designing his clothes as many of his clothes were geometric in shape: squares, trapezoids, and triangles.
Courreges was also one of the most copied dress-designer of his era, but this is to be understood as mass production of clothing had really begun to take off during this time period due to the high demand from the teenaged Baby Boomer population. In 1964, Courrege introduced a new space age collection designed around a boxy silhouette. Shortly after, retailers were stocking their stores with plastic skirts and jackets, crash helmets, white boots, and goggles in order to meet the high demand.
For Gianfranco Ferre's Spring 09 collection, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi also based their collection on geometric shapes: the circle, square, and triangle. Where Courrege's collections were considered sexy, but sharp and angular, Ferre's collection is softer and more feminine.
The design team was able to accomplish this distinction by using rounded and curved shapes instead of sharp and angular forms. Although, same as Courreges, white was highlighted in the collection, overall colors and fabrics were lighter and more airy. Key colors included smoky greys, soft beiges, and pale corals while the fabrics used to create garment shapes were gossamer sheers, lustered, and polished finishes.
Vintage shopping can also yield a selection of dress styles that reflect both Courreges' original approach to structural design and the Ferre team's modern interpretation on the form and function of a garment's shape and silhouette.
70s Kimono Dress|Vagabond NYC
Architectural Panel Dress|Nasty Gal
80s Ruffle Dress|Nasty Gal