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17-06-2007
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July 10, 2006 The Zooop is a high performance 150 kW three seat electric car that weighs just 690 kilograms and has a range of 450 kilometres. It won a special award at the recent international sustainable mobility event, the Michelin Bibendum Challenge for its extreme performance. Remarkably, the Zooop is not the product of an automotive manufacturer, or even an automotive design house. It is the third fully-operative EV prototype produced by globally renowned Paris-based fashion design house Maison de Courrèges and has had very little publicity outside of the car's native France. Which is all very surprising, because in the heady world of fashion, the husband and wife team of André and Coqueline Courrèges are superstars. Both André Courrèges and Coqueline Barrière were (separately) apprenticed and mentored by one of the original fashion designer icons, Cristóbal Balenciaga. Further reading on the remarkable legacy of Balanciaga can be found at Wikipedia, the Fashion Industry Search Engine, InfoMat, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and there's currently an exhibition on Balenciaga at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

André Courrèges opened the Maison de Courrèges in 1961 and was one of the most influential designers of the swinging sixties, most famously as the inventor of the miniskirt but also responsible for the trouser suit, the Moongirl look and gogo boots. Though one of the most important designers of the sixties, the Courreges name has maintained its position at the head of the fashion world for nearly fifty years.

Now Madam Coqueline Courrèges is championing the cause of the electric car.

The Maison de Courrèges was one of the driving forces of the sixties, and as far back as 1969 was using electric vehicles in his fashion shows (see photo gallery). The more modern EV direction of the company was first seen publicly when it rolled out La Bulle (the Bubble), a vehicle that looked for all the world like a flying saucer, at the 2002 Michelin Bibendum Challenge in Heidelberg, Germany. The vehicle was capable of 110 km/h and had a range of 170 kilometres - quite a feat back in 2002. La Bulle competed again in the Bibendum Challenge in Sonoma, California in 2003, and has appeared in each subsequent Bibendum.

In the 2003 California event, Coqueline Courrèges drove La Bulle witnessed the performance of the AC Propulsion TZero and soon began negotiations to purchase an entire drive system to power the next Courrèges prototype vehicle.

Sure enough, the following year in 2004, Courrèges ran two cars at the Shanghai Bibendum Challenge. The new ACP-powered EXE was designed to look like a "jewel box" with a Lexan structure atop a lattice frame that converted easily from two to five seats. As with the campaigning of La Bulle before it, Courrèges made no effort to promote the company's involvement with the EXE in the Bibendum Challenge, and no public statements were forthcoming from the celebrity designer behind the wheel. Madame Coqueline Courrèges ' comments on the future of electric vehicles and the wellbeing of the planet were all sourced second hand by the media from other competitors who spoke to her during the event, in which the EXE finished second outright, beating home cars from every major automotive manufacturer on the planet. Not bad for a fashion designer, heh? The EXE used 149 A/h 370 V Lithium Ion batteries, accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and had a top speed of 160 km/h. In the performance aspects of the event, the Courrèges EXE scored straight A's in the emissions categories and A's in acceleration, handling, and efficiency as well for an overall average of 3.50 (A = 4.0). Only a problem in the braking test prevented an even higher average. Madame Courrèges ordered the tzero hardware and begun construction of the EXE in the garage of her Paris home. AC Propulsion built the systems in California, shipped them to France and the EXE first ran in September. Ten days later it was shipped to Shanghai where final debugging took place at the Shanghai Grand Prix circuit.

After the competitive events were scored and the results posted, some of the cars took to the track again in a ride and drive for the media and distinguished guests. In the Shanghai Circuit's pit lane, the sight of Courrèges' two entries, the almost perfectly round La Bulle or and the acutely angular EXE captured the Bibendum's spirit of innovation and possibility.

The lucky drivers who got behind the wheel of the EXE explored its powerful acceleration and smooth responsiveness on one of the finest racetracks in the world. The experience inspired awe in many and never failed to put a smile on the driver's face. The EV smile. The last drive of the day went to Edouard Michelin, the now deceased CEO of Michelin. With Madame Courrèges in the copilot seat, Michelin drove the EXE hard for two laps, exceeding 100 mph on Shanghai's back straight. Returning to the pit lane he unstrapped his helmet, got out of the EXE and smiled. "Bravo" said Monsieur Michelin. "Voila" said Madame Courrèges.

In 2005 Madame Courrèges continued her pursuit of understanding of the electric vehicle, competing in the Kyoto event with two vehicles. The EXE's was once again using custom-made red tires produced specially by Michelin, but reports suggest that in the unlikely event of a flat tyre, the Courrèges team had a complete set of both blue and green tyres in the van, as the coloured tyres had been made in sets of four and colour co-ordination was considered of utmost importance.

Just prior to the eighth running of the Bibendum Challenge in Courrèges home country, Madame Courrèges unveiled her latest creation, the Zooop, with a bright yellow-orange canopy and matching tires.

The new vehicle is a further development of the EXE's drive train in an entirely new chassis, with Lithium Polymer batteries that are lighter, have greater power density don't overheat, charge quicker and offer many more recharges. The new 70 A/hour 370 V Lithium Polymer batteries offer a range of 450 kilometres.

The Zoop is now capable of 180 km/h and offers performance to match most supercars. No statements have been made by Courrèges regarding the possible future directions of the company's EV efforts.
The Zoop! I want one!!



The Maison de Courrèges first began experimenting with electric vehicles in 1969.



gizmag.com

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Last edited by SomethingElse; 17-06-2007 at 12:51 AM.
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01-07-2007
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ooh i didn't know that

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19-07-2007
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from 50 years of fashion by Valerie Steele
  • A-line shift dress
    heavy wool 1968
  • Helmet - off-white vinyl 1965
  • "Space Age" go-go boots
    leather with black zipper & velcro closing 1965
Attached Images
File Type: jpg img001.jpg (68.0 KB, 13 views)

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19-07-2007
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gah i really like the materials he uses.. it seems they are mostly wool/wool gabardine.. i'm surprised because some of it looks a tiny tiny bit glossy and too smooth, very much like leather. maybe it's just the photos..

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21-07-2007
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Dress and Jacket, 1967 by Andre Courreges, France, born 1923, silk and embroidered net dress; metallic knit jacket, gift of Mrs. John Frankenheimer.




costumes.org

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28-08-2007
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Apple green tweed pinafore dress, circa 1964, labelled and numbered `Courreges Paris, 45201, with decorative prestud fasteners, patch pockets to the high waist.


kerrytaylorauctions.com

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28-08-2007
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Couture mini-dress ensemble, circa 1965, labelled and numbered `Courreges Paris 7951100, of beige and fluorescent lime striped woven wool, narrow leather belt to dropped waist,matching double breasted coat with angular stand collar.




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28-08-2007
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beige and fluorescent lime
I would never have thought of combining these two colors, and they work so well together!

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28-08-2007
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^ Isn't it marvelous!

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Waistcoat and mini skirt, wool and polyurethane, André Courrèges, Hyperbole label, about 1971-72. Synthetic leather boots, 2006.

The French designer André Courrèges is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of the mini-skirt’ as he was one of the first to popularise the style during the early 1960s.

His clothes were often futuristic-looking, inspired by ideas about space travel, and he frequently used modern synthetic fabrics such as polyurethane, a form of plastic. This mini-skirt, waistcoat and coat with their clean, simple lines, geometric shapes and bold use of colour are typical of Courrèges’ approach to design.

This coat was included in one of Courrèges’ original couture lines in 1966. Due to their popularity, items from the same collection, such as this waistcoat and skirt, were re-issued in the early 1970s as part of his less expensive 'Hyperbole' range.




liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

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28-10-2007
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great fotos..I love this fresh colours

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30-12-2007
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`Hyperbole' bright orange ensemble, late 1960s-early 1970s, labelled and numbered 085516 and initialled A, of contrasting textures - chunky corduroy and smooth vinyl, the short bomber-jacket with white prestud fasteners, and plastic zip to front and to centre back; the matelot style trousers with straight legs and white prestud detailing, zip fastened.




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30-12-2007
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Couture purple velvet trouser suit, late 1960s-early 1970s, labelled and numbered 122910, comprising shaped, futuristic styled waistcoat with zip front, edged in purple vinyl, matching flared trousers, lined in white satin.


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30-12-2007
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Classic black evening gown, 1970s, labelled, the simple sheath with black vinyl bows to the shoulders, zip fastened to one side.




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30-12-2007
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White cotton summer dress, early 1970s, labelled and numbered 102216, the bodice of white honey-comb mesh edged in appliquéd embroidered cotton rope-twist banding, prestud fastened, with matching belt.




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13-01-2008
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i love this thread

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