Revolutionary. Just a simple word to describe the Spanish phenomenon, Paco Rabanne: a fashion visionary whose fame exploded in the ’60s.
A strong projection into the future combined with an innovative sci-fi style led him to travel uncharted roads of style and design, capturing the yearning for change in a decade where there was no room for boredom.
The young designer’s introduction to fashion was his mother’s premiere fashion house, Balenciaga, where his creativity started to take shape among buttons and accessories, using different materials such as leather, plastic and stones.
Soon after, came the idea to unite his passion for materials and jewelry directly with clothing, creating, in 1966, the legendary Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.
He anticipated what today is regarded as avant-garde manufacturing, leveraging innovative materials such as fiberglass, wrought iron, aluminum jersey and other recycled materials, earning Coco Chanel’s nickname for him, the metallurgist of fashion.
Paco Rabanne, venturesome and without limits, uprooted what were considered the cornerstones of fashion, replacing stitching with welding and needles with pliers, creating models that were unique, both in texture and structure: the magnificent creation in metal scales that weighed 16 kilograms (35 pounds) and was worn by Françoise Hardy in 1968, was truly unforgettable.
Rabanne abandons the fashion world following the sale of the company to the Pvig group in 1999, and in 2013 the fashion house is reborn under the artistry of Julien Dossena.
With the keywords, rebellion and modernity, he makes full use of the master’s heritage and the original spirit of the company, while creating an easy to wear pret-à-porter.
Abandoning the mood that had given birth to the twelve outfits, which were only to be admired, Dossena works on the wearability of the product.
And though he favors garments that are to be worn, he maintains the practice of using contemporary materials and ideas, remaining avant-garde.
He also dusts off and revisits evergreen motifs: whether it’s the famous tile pattern pieces that get reintroduced in leather or it’s iconic metal, now applied as a detail in skirts and tops, for a look that is fresh and in step with the times…
This way, Dossena embraces the sci-fi flavor by accepting it as a challenge, but it is also an opportunity for him to give shape to his distinctive perception of reality and share it with the world.
For Dossena it is essential to move with ingenuity between the past and present, while carefully preserving the stylistic legacy of the great Paco Rabanne, because, in his own words, “we mustn’t forget that to make a great leap forward, it is always necessary to take a few steps back.”