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Show Report

Show Report: Paco Rabanne S/S 17 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 30 September 2016

Lucy Norris reports on the Paco Rabanne S/S 17 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Paco Rabanne S/S 17 womenswear show.

Paco Rabanne S/S 17 Womenswear

Paco Rabanne, the man who made clothes out of metal, has had his assemblage style reimagined this season - via crystals, packaging motifs and haberdashery fabrics.

As a kind of pastiche, in homage to an assemblage designer's near fetishistic obsession with materials, the words 'warm leatherette' were repeated within the audio, in an overtly seductive tone. 

The opening section saw 'future workers uniformed in synthetic clinical jumpsuits.' Reminiscent of 60s avant garde fashion, and its fixation with themes of surveillance, nuclear fall out and cocooning, the jumpsuit sweaters also had the words 'Future Sex' printed on them. Hoodies on white anoraks and cropped jackets throughout spoke of ongoing suspicions set within utopias. 

A section of dresses made of clear plastic crystals were the most audible looks on the Milan and Paris runways thus far. They playfully clattered and tinkled throughout the show space - and provided a multi-sensory experience that was full of contradictions. Super sparkly and delicate, they also sounded loud and purposeful.

Evolution is a steady process - it's best not to evolve beyond your own evolution too quickly.

The wit, movement and sparkle of the opening dresses emotionally warmed things up a lot - enabling a following white section to feel like it was grounded in a seductiveness, rather than weary minimalism. Cut-out wavy tops, skirts and dresses saw the models' skin peep out from between stripes and prints. White and cream bandage colour ways in sporty elastic tops were super desirable. 

Whether 'future sex' was in reference to virtual gender or virtual sensory worlds, this was a collection that was feminine, practical, flirty and covered. It was all things to all beings. 

The words 'Evolution 909' were read out over the audio. The collection then evolved - or devolved - back to more historic times. The little blouse dresses were beautiful, and Renaissance ruffs and volumes were near angelic. Paco Rabanne's archives were thrown wide open. Chainmail dresses were 'archival dresses reimagined.' Walking alongside them, there were 'modern priestesses in long metal mesh skirts and tops.'

An extra section in lace felt just that: an extra.  Evolution is a steady process - it's best not to evolve beyond your own evolution too quickly. Designers seem to be adding in one idea too many at the moment. Maybe it's the times we live in. Eclecticism and evolution is great, but a stronger edit makes a more confident statement.

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