Paco Rabanne Resort 2023
By his own admission, Julien Dossena was a little late to “The Party.”
Paco Rabanne’s creative director only recently watched the classic 1968 comedy starring Peter Sellers, and decided to channel its psychedelic ambience into his cruise collection. Hedonism is in the brand’s DNA, he reasoned, and the collection is due to land in stores in November, right in time for the holidays.
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He channeled the era’s insouciance with an effortless approach to glamour, translating the Space Age brand’s signature silver chain mail into jersey separates embroidered in a dégradé of silver and gold sequins. Consider them more wearable spin-offs of the opulent Met Gala look he designed for singer Sabrina Carpenter.
A bell-sleeved crop top was paired with a ra-ra skirt, while a top and flared pants came accessorized with a chain mail headscarf, signature 1969 handbag and silver flats, for a human glitter-ball effect. For purists, he offered a sleeveless version of an archival disc dress, originally worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Two for the Road.”
More casual takes on dressing up included lurex knits in optical stripes, pareo-style jersey skirts and dresses fastened with jeweled brooches, and chain-trimmed or fringed cropped sweaters. The looks were photographed against images of midcentury California villas for a relaxed, pool party feel.
While the label’s founder will forever be associated with his 12 Unwearable Dresses collection, released in 1966, Dossena has been pushing the house in a more whimsical direction, with a blend of ‘80s maximalism and kaleidoscopic color and pattern — though he emphasized that Rabanne himself dabbled with hippie looks.
“In his work, he was always extremely connected to what was happening around him, so for me, it’s a matter of borrowing from the era’s cultural references and bringing them up to date, which allows me to stretch the vocabulary of the brand as far as you can imagine,” Dossena said.
Recently, the house partnered with London department store Selfridges to release 12 original designs by Rabanne as NFTs, but Dossena made clear he wasn’t tempted to create virtual clothes for the metaverse.
“When we offer those designs as NFTs, it’s not really to dress your avatar,” he explained. “It’s almost like you’re buying a work of art or an iconic piece of design to add it to your NFT collection.” His flirty party outfits, on the other hand, were made to enjoy in real life.
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