Rabanne, without the Paco, took center stage at the Palais de Tokyo, creating a stir of excitement on a Thursday morning that had street photographers in a frenzy, both on entry and exit.
Designed by Julien Dossena, this collection epitomized Rabanne’s hallmark glitz, glamor, and the fusion of metal and matte that defines its unique DNA.
Since its inception in 1966, when founder Paco unleashed the Manifesto show, Rabanne has always been synonymous with making a futuristic splash at public events. This tradition continued outside the show, with scores of influencers commanding attention, causing a lingering traffic jam on Avenue President Wilson, even half an hour after the show’s conclusion. In the world of Paris Fashion Week, the historic settings and tree-lined boulevards provide the perfect backdrop for influencers to shine.
Inside the show, Dossena made an unmistakable Rabanne statement. The collection commenced with a Space Age allure, featuring silver metallics adorned with golden chains and baubles, paired with striking high-tech gladiator sandals. It was followed by a parade of warrior women in metallic tunics, shirts, barely-there sheaths, sequined capes, and distinctive cut-up cocktails with cowls and dhotis. They looked ready for a vibrant party, not a battlefront.
Dossena’s recent fascination with shaggy mohair looks, particularly for a Spring/Summer 2024 collection showcased on a warm fall day, might have raised eyebrows. The recurring theme of sequins, mini metal plates, and dangling embellishments left an appetite for a slightly subtler costume party.
In celebration of 50 years of rap, the house collaborated with Spotify to launch Club 57, offering playlists, podcasts, and exclusive drops of French rap. Historically, Paco was a trailblazer in using Rhodoïd, an acetate akin to LPs, in his shows, and pioneered the inclusion of music on catwalks. He later established an art center at 57 boulevard de la Villette, where future French stars like JoeyStarr and Mc Solaar would take the stage.
Ironically, the show’s soundtrack was a funky blend of electronica, featuring Aphex Twin’s «Windowlicker.»
In a thoughtful touch, guests departed the show with bags of new and Rabanne-inspired makeup, including the Summer Bomb spray-on summer paillettes.
As Julien received substantial applause during his final bow, it became evident that he has not only revived Rabanne but also made it a relevant name within the fashion community. However, after a decade at Rabanne, one can’t help but wonder if Dossena has said all he needed to say at the house.