Pauline Trigère

Who the hell was Pauline Trigère (1909-2002), and, what did a French born American fashion designer have to do with the 1970 Mercury Cougar?

I asked my wife Terrie if she'd heard of this designer.  Her answer came in the form of a question.  Isn't that a perfume?

Houndstooth Cougar

Pauline Trigère was commissioned to design a special edition trim package, now known as the “Houndstooth” Cougar.  She was known for her innovative ideas.  The vinyl roof and matching interior came in two colors, black and gold like my Cougar XR7 and black and white like this beauty photographed at a car show near Baltimore Maryland.

Her background

In 1942, Trigère decided to open her own fashion house. Her first small collection of 12 dresses was taken to department store buyers all across the country and by 1945, Trigère was a respected New York label.

In the 1950s she started to produce costume jewelry to accompany her outfits, like many other fashion houses at the time. Her clientele included many famous women such as the Duchess of Windsor, actress Claudette Colbert and singer Lena Horne. Trigère is also cited for designing Patricia Neal's sophisticated wardrobe in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

In addition to her clothing lines and costume jewelery, she did indeed have her own perfume appropriately called Trigère.

Gone but not forgotten

Today, Trigère's vintage dresses and jewelry are greatly sought-after and have been worn recently by  Hollywood stars such as Winona Ryder and Sarah Jessica Parker.  A Google search reveals her vintage fashions selling in a range from a few hundred dollars to the many thousands of dollars. 

The 1970 Houndstooth Cougar is rare 

Just how many were built with the matching vinyl roof and interior is a question for the researchers and the Cougar statisticians.  I was  told by an executive of the Cougar Club of America that only 488 XR7's were sold in 1970 with the fabled houndstooth roof.  A total of 7,544 Cougars, both Standard and XR7 were produced with either the black houndstooth or the medium brown houndstooth interior.