Paco Rabanne Chainmail dress

In Paco Rabanne’s 1960 studio everything was riveted, welded or soldered. Needles and thimbles were replaced by tool kits. Pliers were preferred to scissors. His materials were plastic, leather aluminium and steel.

The rustle of silk is replaced by the clank of metal. Paco kept twelve young workers busy in his atelier, not far from Montmartre. Rabanne’s brave new world approach to fashion was far removed from the haute couture as abstract art is from the old masters.

The question was it fashion or couture is prompted by the fact that nothing is literally sewn.

His coats and dresses often are on a leather base. A coat is either cut into one-colour triangles and riveted or is of aluminium or steel and welded.

Multicolored plastic triangles were mixed to dazzle in a kinetic mood.

Paco’s mother worked for designer Balenciaga in Spain. His background included haute couture training. For three years to allow him to continue his studies. He had an embroidery shop and took orders from Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Chanel. He developed his own techniques that avoided sewing. His jewelled embroideries were strung on metal threads and followed his own special technique.


Paco Rabanne in Bailey Street Design Shop

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