Julien Dossena has done what few designers have succeeded in doing with a brand whose fate as a fashion house seemed almost sealed some 10 or 20 years ago. At the helm of Paco Rabanne, the iconic house of the 60s and 70s, Dossena has triumphantly succeeded in shaking up the 53-year old brand’s reputation and reviving the futuristic label with a fresh aesthetic. People were surprised when the then relatively unknown former intern of Balenciaga stepped in as Creative Director of the house in 2013 - though the brand, celebrateJulien Dossenad for its chainmail mini dresses in the 1960s, was, half a decade later, somewhat irrelevant itself, the name recognised more for its ubiquitous 1 Million and Black XS fragrances than as a fashion house.
Since his first runway show in 2014, where he sent models down the catwalk in patent leather dresses and cotton overalls, Dossena’s designs have been dominated by pieces that update the glamour of 1940s Hollywood and 1970s rock, with slivers of the brand’s signature silver chainmail understatedly woven through his collections. Dossena’s Paco Rabanne translates the message that fashion should be liberating and transcending, his Resort 2020 collection, unveiled in June of last year but on sale since last week, offering a sartorial manifestation of the forward-thinking sensibility he brings to the fashion house - an eclectic mix of cultural inspirations, taking Palm Springs as his main reference and injecting an elegant slant on kitsch to create a collection of accessible trappings for the modern Parisian woman.
The success of Paco Rabanne under the reign of Julien Dossena can be owed to his ability to create clothes that are all at once decadent, exceptionally crafted and wonderfully wearable. So if you fancy getting your hands on a piece of the collection (before it inevitably sells out), here’s how we suggest you might wear it...
Take A Fresh Approach to Western Style
The collection’s Western streak came in the form of sharp-edged cowboy boots and jackets adorned with fiery red lightning strikes. Take your own spin on glittering midi skirts and ultra-feminine bouquets of pink roses juxtaposed with rustic cowboy boots, completing your favourite ultra-feminine ensembles with a dose of Wild West-inspired edge.
Recreate 70s Glamour
Paco Rabanne’s Resort 2020 collection is brimming with influences from the 60s and 70s, a nod to the brand’s golden days under the namesake designer. Dossena offers a glamorous update on the brand’s signature chain-mesh design, carefully interweaved through the collection in the form of rose gold slit midi skirts and sleeveless chain metal dresses. For a slightly more pedestrian -but by no means dull-take on the brand’s unique glamour, look to its recreation of the iconic Paco Rabanne 1969 bag in sparkling disco-ball colourways, the perfect accoutrement to elevate any casual outfit.
Master The Art of Chic Tailoring
The brand’s relatively new-found focus on tailoring takes shape in razor-sharp silhouettes, in the form of statement spring outerwear to effortlessly layer over your day-to-day looks. A baby-pink gingham overcoat adds a layer of intrigue to your favourite pair of denim and a white tee. Or, add a touch of iridescence with a shimmering silver box-shouldered blazer to complete any night-out ensemble.
Layer, Layer, Layer
Layering has the power to transform an outfit, and Dossena’s Resort 2020 collection is abundant in pieces that lend themselves to layering, and in turn reinterpretation from occasion to occasion and season to season. Think ruffled prairie pinafores over fitted polo necks, pared back with classic white trainers for a chic yet laid-back feel, or a statement cowboy shirt printed with cherry blossoms unbuttoned over a simple black tee-and-trouser two-piece.
Elevate A Graphic Tee
A standout piece from the collection is the bubblegum pink novelty Paco Motel graphic tee - a hard-working wardrobe staple, full of retro nostalgia, that can be fittingly paired with relaxed denim for a go-to look that couldn’t be easier to throw on. But the piece’s pulling power lies in its ability to equally be dressed up, to harmoniously accompany a silk midi skirt and heeled boots, or a pair of rhinestone embellished trousers for an elevated look abounded with luxe eccentricity.
Words by Ruby McAuliffe
Graphics by Katie Janes