PARIS – The message going out over the surreal satellite dish hats at Paco Rabanne was loud and crystal clear, “Lady Gaga, we’ve got something for you.” If she’s having trouble finding outfits that can top a meat dress, and frankly, who wouldn’t?, the pop star need look no further than the newly revamped and relaunched Paco Rabanne, which shot the futuristic legacy of the legendary ’60s house into orbit. There were second-skin sheath dresses with sharp shoulders and protruding hips on view Tuesday that looked like the uniforms of a flight crew on a spaceship. And a catsuit in gold lame that was hung with thick metal coils and tangled chains, like so much space debris.
Foil candy-wrapper dresses were kitted out with sculptural whorls of fabric, shaped like the rings of Saturn, that enveloped the models, turning them into prisoners of their own dresses. One model even had to fold her hands behind her in backward prayer to order not to muss the rings.) Variations on Rabanne’s iconic chain mail dresses, made from plastic trapezoids linked together with metal rings, were served up in bustier dresses, pencil skirts and even a slinky hooded catsuit worthy of a Space Age Joan of Arc.
It was an astonishing debut from Delhi-based madcap Manish Arora, who, as the new creative director, is charged with rebuilding the historic brand. Founded by a Spanish designer of the same name, Paco Rabanne shot into the fashion stratosphere in the mid-1960s with futuristic designs that cleverly incorporated metal and plastic. The house’s fortunes later dwindled, and its current owners, cosmetics and high-end clothing company the Puig Group, shuttered the ready-to-wear line several years ago to focus on its lucrative perfume operations. Arora, whose demented styles for his signature line have garnered considerable critical praise, seemed on paper like just the man to revive the house, and Tuesday’s show confirmed as much.
Sure, you could not sit down, walk, use your hands or even breathe in most of the looks on the ravamped Rabanne runway. But walking, talking, gesticulating or breathing are simply besides the point as far as these kind of clothes-as-talking-pieces are concerned. Just ask Gaga, or Katy Perry, or Beyonce or any of the other superstars that the collection was shouting out to.
4 October 2011 | 21:23 Viewed 392 times