As news headlines ferry a steady flow of chaos and terror, Nicolas Di Felice found himself struggling for inspiration this season. “A lot of things can feel a little pointless,” he admitted. His answer? Try a little tenderness.
His coed pre-fall collection was his most erotic to date with outfits that toyed with zips, buckles and latex to encourage physical intimacy. “What I really want is to feel someone’s arms around me,” he said.
More from WWD
On his mood board, an image of founder André Courrèges’ 1960s “cosmonauts,” smothered in protective white capes, tights and balaclavas, sat alongside a cover of fetish magazine Atomage.
Di Felice, who has curated a selection of music, magazines and other collectibles for his current pop-up with independent record store Dizonord in Paris, recently met a collector who has every issue of the cult magazine launched by designer John Sutcliffe in the ‘70s.
“I find it really inspiring to spend time with people who are passionate in their field,” he explained.
His deep dive into the S&M scene was reflected in a number of kinky details that dovetailed with his ongoing fascination with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Single front pockets on the crotch of sailor pants and zip-up skirts encouraged a suggestive placement of hands, while slits on the hips of a white tank dress exposed slivers of skin. Tops and dresses with deep frontal zips could reveal as much or as little as the wearer desires.
Of course, a lot has changed since Courrèges helped launch the Space Age aesthetic in the Swinging ’60s.
Bondage pants have since entered the fashion vernacular, and Di Felice paired his with everything from a unisex blazer in Prince of Wales checked wool to a white windbreaker lined with curly shearling, in a quietly subversive touch.
Just as Courrèges’ more futuristic creations never made it to the street, Di Felice’s rubbery sheer pants and skirts are unlikely to launch a trend. For those afraid to take a walk on the wild side, a little latex bowling bag might be all the frisson they need.
Launch Gallery: Courrèges Pre-Fall 2024
Best of WWD