Gosh, this house means so much to the history of fashion. This season, Creative Director, Julien Dossena made great inroads towards reclaiming this label’s relevance. It can be tempting to go industrially linear, if your founder created dresses with pliers - rather than needle and thread. However, Dossena made the wise decision to soften proceedings and pursue a modern ease.
The show opened with feminine lingerie style dresses, which held a futuristic narrative with burnt out Mad Max style devoré and silver eyelets. The hems of silk dresses and skirts were shredded; they looked punkish yet incredibly romantic. The leather tops, with Rabanne motocross patchworks may very well have come out of the archive, but they annoyingly remind one of that Marc by Marc Jacobs collection by Luella and Hillier. Historic houses, such as Paco Rabanne, are right to reclaim their past and do a death to so many other houses rinsing and profiteering from someone else’s legacy, (I have resisted making a list). The Milky Way pastels here were exquisite, and looked formidable in skirts and trousers. Like Mary Katrantzou, Dossena possibly needs to step away from looking at pictures of Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2002. New interesting tracks must be created within this same milieu. Like a fashion food chain, designers have long used Rabanne as an ingredient when remixing old fashion for the new. The house needs to leapfrog them all. It is arguably more important than any of them.
A jellyfish translucent knitwear piece, which was teamed with cropped peach trousers, complete with patch pocket, was a deliciously new feminine take on contemporary space age. The suspender dresses, ditto. It was also wonderful to see this house offer an incredible parka. Rendered in future fabrics, it felt innovative and powerful and right on. The silver foiled collar was the exactly the right amount of brand referencing. The label also offered strong trouser options too; a wise move. They looked fresh, desirable and essential.