Fashion Feud – The Duchess of Windsor and Andre Courreges…

Here’s a bit of interesting gossip I just discovered in an article about Courreges that appeared in Life magazine on May 10, 1965:

Wallis Simpson in January 1965, likely wearing the Courreges coat in question...

“Because of her capricious reputation, from the very first season I had opened my house I said I would not dress the Duchess of Windsor. I warned my house, no Duchess. But last summer while I was away on holidays, a call came from the Windsors’ secretary. No one dared to refuse the Duchess her appointment, but my 23-year-old directrice, Ariane Brenner, said, ‘No down payment when ordering, no coat.’ Can you order a car without any initial payment? No. So why should you be able to order a Courrèges without doing the same? Obviously the Duchess was not used to such manners. For weeks she didn’t come.

Finally the Duchess showed up. Taking her measurements, then making her first fitting, which I always do myself, were like a true corrida. The Duchess the bull – and me the matador. During the whole time she never spoke a word to me, neither did I to her. She couldn’t get over the shock. No house in Paris ever treated her like that…

Anyway, after a 20-minute fitting I finally told the Duchess of Windsor, ‘And now, Madame, you can criticize.’ She smiled and told me that never before, anywhere, had she been given such a perfect fitting. But our troubles were not nearly finished. The Duchess got her coat, loved it, wears it a lot I see. But again and unwillingly we had to be firm and tough. Knowing the privileges established for her by other couture houses, our directrice told the Duchess’ secretary that the coat could not be delivered unless the right hand that would take the coat would at the same time hand us the Windsors’ cheque. It took a few days. But the Duchess gave in.”

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