Paco Rabanne A/W 2018

Paco Rabanne A/W 2018

Julien Dossena fuses bourgeois staples with Studio 54 flair

Mood board: Injecting a warmth and wearability into the futuristic chainmail dresses that Paco Rabanne is renowned for is a difficult task. There’s an inherent isolation in the house’s signature metal links which clang and clink with the movement of the body. But for A/W 2018, Julien Dossena’s nineties negligees, which twinkled with plastic paillettes, or his skirts created from links of metallic daisies or plastic strips of abstract camo-print had a relaxed and wonderfully wearable touch. He’d looked to two archive Rabanne designs — Audrey Hepburn’s mirrored shift from the film Two For The Road (1967) and Françoise Hardy’s white chain-link top seen on the July 1967 cover of Elle France, but this wasn’t about a pastiche of past silhouettes. In a modern twist, the brand’s signatures, ones that would have taken centre stage at Le Sept nightclub in Paris during the late sixties, were teamed with cowboy boots, or pool sliders, and layered with Breton striped tees, denim jackets and trenchcoats.

Best in show: Dossena was fascinated by the concept of bourgeois daywear, presenting staples of the Parisian wardrobe like white shirts, camel roll necks, pea coats and gold-buttoned blazers. That insouciant styling meant that this was a collection for any woman, whether she favours an iridescent chain-link tube dress or simply a tailored camel coat.

Finishing touches: Rodeo-inspired footwear is fast becoming the strongest accessory trend of A/W 2018, and Dossena’s chunky Western boots were a talking point as guests left the show. His pool sliders, which jangled with metal hardware as models sashayed down the catwalk, will also have appeal for a younger customer, keen to bring Rabanne’s Studio 54 sensibility to the sandy shores of Ibiza.

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