Rabanne, without the Paco, staged its latest collection amid much excitement Thursday morning at Palais de Tokyo, as the street photographers had a mad feeding frenzy both on the way in and out.
Designed by Julien Dossena, this collection had all the glitz and glam, metal and matte one expects from Rabanne and Julien’s interpretation of its DNA.
Since opening its doors in 1966 with founder Paco’s Manifesto show, Rabanne has always been about making a futurist splash at public events. A tradition continued today outside this show, where scores of posing influencers were still causing a traffic jam on Avenue President Wilson half an hour after the show had finished. Only in Paris Fashion Week, does one have the ideal backdrop for influencers, from the historic settings to the tree-lined boulevards.
Back in the show, Dossena kicked off the action with a quintessentially Rabanne look. A Space Age sex bomb in silver metallic with golden chains and baubles, anchored with some sensational boot high-tech gladiator sandals. Followed by warrior women in metallic tunics, shirts and barely-there sheaths or sequined capes, cut-up cocktails with cowls and dhotis. All of them off to a fun party and not the front line.
Though Dossena’s recent obsession with shaggy mohair looks was hard to fathom, especially in a Spring/Summer 2024 collection shown on a warm fall day. While the sheer repetition of yards of sequins, mini metal plates and dangling balls left you hungry for less of a costume party.
To celebrate 50 years of rap, the house this season linked up with streaming platform Spotify to create Club 57, a series of playlists, podcasts and exclusive drops of French rap. Historically, Paco was the first designer to use Rhodoïd, an acetate similar to LPs, in his shows, and the first to feature music at his catwalks. He later opened an art center at 57 boulevard de la Villette, where later French stars like JoeyStarr and Mc Solaar performed.
Ironically, the show music this season was funky electronica, notably Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker.
In a neat gesture, guests left the show with bags of new and suitable Rabanne-like makeup. Its spray on summer paillettes is called Summer Bomb.
At the end, Julien took his bow to considerable applause. A convincing display before the fashion community he has developed while skilfully reviving this house. He has made the brand relevant.
Yet, somehow, after a decade at the house, one couldn’t help thinking, Dossena has largely completed his mission at Rabanne. This very gifted designer may just have said what he has to say at this house Rabanne.
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