When Julien Dossena quit his job as a designer at Balenciaga in December 2012, everyone had great expectations and was waiting for this young designer’s next move. He found his place at Paco Rabanne, only a few weeks after his departure from Balenciaga.
Paco Rabanne himself, also known as the enfant terrible of the Sixties, has always been interested in science-fiction, and has even designed some costumes for Barbarella, a sci-fi movie from the late Sixties. Given the fact that Dossena is a huge futuristic and sci-fi enthusiast as well, choosing him as the new creative director of his eponymous brand couldn’t have been more appropriate. Among Dossena’s passion and influences, besides sci-fi fashion, there is photography (as proven by his Instagram account), art of history and designers like Martin Margiela and Helmut Lang.
After many seasons and just as many collections of failed attempt to modernize Rabanne, this fashion house mainly known for its chainmail dresses has found the right way to modernity, and has finally the chance to revive its allure as the futuristic label par excellence. For his Paco Rabanne spring/summer 2016 collection, Dossena chose to mix some activewear outfits with other more futuristic pieces, reaching his sci-fi climax at the middle of the line-up. Here and there, he interrupted the collection with some full-body girdles and baby dolls, which he managed to make look as daily routine pieces of clothing.
The first part of the collection sees a mixture of motocross inspired jackets and tops, rigorously made in leather, combined with delicate and ethereal black, and light blue and white baby-doll dresses, adorned with studs, pearls and fringes. As we approach the middle of the line-up, casual pieces made of total black tops, skinny trousers and tennis dresses fill the catwalk, changing the entire attitude of the show.
Tie-dye tops and dresses introduce us to the second part of the line-up, which is to a certain extent what the hippie movement would have looked like if it were born in the next century. Sleek trousers, asymmetric flesh-colored tops and skirts are only a taste of what Dossena had in mind for his futuristic spring 2016, as we immediately understand thanks to the arrival of the first metallic pieces, which may remind some of you of Margiela’s spring 2016 collection. Silver windbreakers, golden skirts and golden trapeze dresses make a good contrast with Dossena’s black full-body girdles, bustiers and slip-dresses. Has Dossena just started a new form of futurism with his lingerie style dresses? We hope so.
Dossena’s appreciation of different fabrics and materials comes finally back again with the third part of the Paco Rabanne spring 2016 collection, which welcomes some furry and patchwork experiments. Parachute trousers and comfy joggers, delightfully combined with oversized boyfriend T-shirts and printed tops help getting this collection’s sporty chic apotheosis, and for some unexplainable reasons look more chic than sporty.
Even though Dossena’s furry sandals may have taken the experiment with this material too far, his perfect tailoring skills make it look as everything is in the right place. Every single piece of the collection seems to be carefully designed, and we are surely about to see some of Rabbane’s clothes down the streets next summer.
Creating this whole new world made of motocross outfits and daily lingerie pieces, Dossena has undoubtedly started a new futuristic fashion phase for the house that instead of looking for extravagant pieces and inspirations takes both common and unconventional pieces of clothing and tries to redesign them as if they were sewn in the next century.
Photos courtesy of Vogue