Paco Rabanne: A farewell to utopia

They bade a final farewell to Paco Rabanne in the house’s latest runway show Wednesday evening in Paris, with six looks by the master designer.

Paco Rabanne – Fall-Winter2023 – 2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

Rabanne passed away in February, bringing down the curtain, or more actually the metal cutter, on a remarkable career. An orphan of the Spanish Civil War, who grew to become one of the towering fashion designers of the second half of the 20th century.
His marriage of industry, metal, technology and fashion living on in this show, with the designs by his eventual successor, Julien Dossena.  

“Thank you, Monsieur Rabanne. Thank you for your sincerity. This unique stylistic manifesto who defined a new modernity. Thank you for your utopic creative approach that moved the boundaries of reality. Thank you for the radical engagement and for the personal expression. You were among those who changed our view of the world. Thank you, Paco Rabanne, for this legacy,” wrote Dossena on small cards left on each seat.
Made of aluminum, plastic and chains, Paco’s clothes were famous for being as noisy as they were path-breaking. Julien continued the tradition with a brilliant group of glass and metal cocktails, a techy update on the Rabanne oeuvre. They were a cacophony of twinkles and rattles – from an amazing crystal bauble skirt with a miniature bra, to a remarkable metallic sheath sprouting stalactites of icy plastic.
Though his most beautiful ideas were long silk dresses with surrealist Arcadian prints – dessert cliffs, remote vistas and giant roses. Just like the one on the invitation to this show.
Keen to break new ground, Dossena opened with a series of wool and cashmere faux-shearling ideas. A long way from Rabanne, and not always convincing, and yet engrossing in their very novelty.
Before leading to the finale, and a long voice over of Rabanne talking of marrying factory and studio in his search for a new form of couture that would flatter women.
Giving Paco Animam Agere in the first show of the house he founded since his passing on the coast of Brittany, aged 88.

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