From the moment he presented his debut collection in 1966, Paco Rabanne made it abundantly clear that he was not to be ignored.
His innovative use of unconventional materials immediately caught the attention of the fashion world, leaving them eager to see what he would create next. Rabanne’s futuristic designs were unlike anything that had been seen before, and his daring approach to fashion quickly earned him a reputation as a true force to be reckoned with. Each new creation was more innovative and daring than the last, and it was clear that Rabanne was not content to simply follow the status quo.
As we all know, Paris Fashion Week is always a feast for the eyes, but this season was particularly poignant. We lost a true fashion legend last month when designer Paco Rabanne passed away at the age of 88. But his incredible legacy lives on, thanks in part to the creative vision of current Paco Rabanne creative director Julien Dossena.
Dossena used the Fall/Winter 2023 runway show as a moment to pay tribute to the late great designer, reminding us all of the incredible impact Rabanne had on the world of fashion. It was a bittersweet moment, but also a beautiful one, as we were reminded of just how much creativity and passion goes into every single piece that hits the runway.
Paco Rabanne’s daring and innovative designs, featuring unconventional materials and futuristic styles, have made it a leader in the fashion industry. With Dossena, the brand has managed to balance its avant-garde aesthetic with more accessible and wearable pieces. Collaborations with top artists and designers have also helped maintain Paco Rabanne’s reputation as a fashion trailblazer. In short, if you want to make a statement and stay ahead of the curve in fashion, Paco Rabanne is a brand worth keeping an eye on.
The runway show for Paco Rabanne’s latest collection was like a dream, featuring the brand’s iconic chainmail handbags and then spiraling into a wild and vivid world of color and texture. Floral patterns, delicate satin, and lace swirled around the models as they strutted down the catwalk like ethereal creatures from another realm. To top it off, Dessena chose to pay tribute to the dynamic artistic partnership between Paco Rabanne and Salvador Dali. Through careful curation of fabrics, textures, and silhouettes, the designer brought to life the vibrant energy and avant-garde sensibility that characterized their collaboration. The result was a collection that was both a nod to fashion history and a bold statement about the future of design.
Dessena chose to celebrate Paco Rabanne and Salvador Dali’s friendship by incorporating Dali’s paintings in the new collection | Alessandro Lucioni for gorunway.com
The collection opened with a series of knit separates and floor-length coats that exuded a subtle elegance, each one accented with bold hardware detailing and statement-making belts. As the show progressed, we were treated to an array of tops, trousers, and jumpsuits, each one adorned with oversized bows that added a touch of whimsy and playfulness to the proceedings.
The show opened up with knit separates, long coats, and jumpsuits | Alessandro Lucioni for gorunway.com
The gowns were stunning, with ruched chest designs and embellishments adding a touch of beauty to the collection. But things took an exciting turn when the show delved into surrealism, featuring prints of Salvador Dali’s eerie paintings such as The Shades of Night Descending (1931) and Sun-Table (1935) on maxi-length gowns that showcased daring cutouts at the waist and neckline. It was as if the clothes themselves had come to life, taking on a twisted and otherworldly quality.
Standout pieces like the gowns feature satin and lace with spectacular embellishments | Alessandro Lucioni for gorunway.com
The show culminated in a stunning finale, showcasing spectacular chainmail mini dresses that served as a tribute to the designer’s innovative vision over the decades. From the futuristic designs of the 60s to the more wearable pieces of recent years, the collection was a testament to Rabanne’s enduring legacy in the world of fashion. It was a fitting end to a show that celebrated both the past and the future of this iconic brand.
The show’s finale paid tribute to the iconic founder by showcasing his archives | Alessandro Lucioni for gorunway.com
This season’s Paco Rabanne show was a touching reminder of the power of fashion to bring people together and to keep the spirit of a beloved designer alive. With a nod to the brand’s signature use of unconventional materials, and a healthy dose of wearable and accessible pieces, this season’s collection was an absolute standout. And the surrealist prints of Salvador Dali’s famous artworks on the maxi-length gowns? Genius.
As we look back on his incredible legacy, it’s clear that Rabanne’s impact on the fashion world was truly unmatched. He blazed a trail that others could only follow, and his visionary approach to fashion will continue to inspire generations to come.
So while we may have shed a tear for the fashion icon that was Paco Rabanne, we also raised a glass to the future of the brand, which is looking brighter than ever. As they say, the show must go on.
Header image courtesy of Daniel Simon for Getty Images