paco rabanne throws it back to 60s psychedelia
Turning away from 2019's nihilism and dark truths, Julien Dossena instead embraced 1969's French-pop, kitsch, peace, love and obligatory bowl cuts.
Something about the late 60s has been gripping culture this year. It may be down to the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and its depiction of the end of that acid-dipped cigarette of an era. The film was set in 1969, the same year as Apollo 11 and Woodstock, exactly half a century ago this summer. So sixties nostalgia been floating in the cultural ether, but then at Paco Rabanne, it always is. The late 60s was the zenith of those chainmail Barbarella dresses and Françoise Hardy looking coquette in those space-age Paco discs. Perhaps as a marker of his confidence at the house, Julien Dossena decided to revisit the period for his latest show, a disco-lit celebration of French pop and 60s psychedelia, drawing “strength from symbols of naïveté rather than nihilism” and “acknowledging today’s world without yielding to its darker truths”.
A bowl-bobbed Sofia Steinberg opened the show in dress with a big red love heart on its chest and disco-light print. Stars, daisies, butterflies, rainbows, ditsy florals subsequently served as a foundation for the theme -- but it was the way that the looks were layered that propelled into the here and now and obliterated the twee taste of kitsch. A jangling disc dress over a polo top and knee-high socks, for instance, or a PVC daisy-disc vest over a floral bralette and chainmail skirt, seemed perfectly modern. It helped that the looks were streamlined and there were unexpected touches, like exaggerated trumpet sleeves on a floral-flecked lace dress.
Take it all apart and there’s loads of options to mix-and-match with jeans and T-shirts -- speaking of which, Dossena once again enlisted Peter Saville to design graphics for tees. There was also menswear for the first time. Boys came out in skinny tailoring in ditsy florals, silk cravats and marquetry metallic-leather trousers and boots -- a taster of the full menswear collection to come in January. Jonas Gloer and Blesnya Minher closed the show in matching chainmail red love-hearts.
Photography Mitchell Sams