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Against the backdrop of a contemporary gallery, where Dan Graham’s imposing glass structures conjure notions of fluidity, plasticity and reflection, the latest Paco Rabanne collections signal their own dynamic, ever-shifting statements.
It was in a similar setting that Francoise Hardy was photographed some 50 years ago wearing an iconic metal mesh dress surrounded by the works of Victor Vasarely. Today, Julien Dossena has drawn on this image to explore the nuances of radical artistic expression and the new encounters that it invites.
As the Paco Rabanne women’s and men’s looks interact once again, the resonance of identity becomes more open, more amplified. Arty archetypes are signaled through eccentric mixing or conceptually coordinated ensembles; through elegantly fitted suits and gleaming, oversized finishings.
Bridging the ‘60s kinetic movement with ’90s minimalism, dimensional sunburst assemblage dresses coexist with streamlined fringed knits and a caped coat, both in solid grey wool. An all-over vinyl hooded stands out for its sculpted form, while geometric motifs on jersey and jacquard emit Vasarely-inspired visual vibrations. Where faux fur coats create exaggerated volumes, tailoring appears lean and longer. From enlarged animal stripes and electrified tapestry florals patterned across everyday pieces, to a frosted violet velvet dress and metal mesh shirts in vivid gradient colour, this combined wardrobe resounds with individualist allure. Collector, curator, student, amateur – they are all represented as different facets of Dossena’s contemporary vision. Beyond the gallery walls, these personages become beacons of diversity whose degree of stylistic daring reinforces an avant-gardist attitude.
A broadened range of bags represents the ongoing creative and technical development of house signatures. This season marks the debut of PACOÏO, a series of lightweight, top-handle bags composed of leather discs and metal rings assembled by hand. From the spacious tote to a mini cross-body sized for smartphones, each PACOÏO format is a future classic designed for every day. Whereas the latest 1969 bags feature color-blocked metal pastilles in hues that catch the eye, new, handheld leather bags defined by geometric metal frame boast an attractively simplified form.
As a final flourish, accessories span wraparound, tonal scarves to highly visible belts and jewellery such the Eight Nano with its finer links. At once decorative and pragmatic, these pieces can be worn as coded identifiers of Paco Rabanne as it embarks on the next decade.