The "metallurgist" of fashion: Paco Rabanne the creative experimenter




Salvador Dalí called him the second genius of Spain, Coco Chanel the "metallurgist" of fashion. But an entire vocabulary would not be enough to define the elusive creative genius of Paco Rabanne. The Spanish designer, who began his career in the 1960s designing jewelery for Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga, burst onto the French fashion scene in 1966. For his debut he presented the line "Manifesto: 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials": it embraced garments made with unusual materials such as aluminum, metal, plastic and paper, joined by wire and glue, forever changing the concept of couture.

Stylist symbol, together with Pierre Cardin, of the Space Age, the futuristic aesthetics of the Sixties made of geometries, metallic colors and unusual materials, which overwhelmed the world of fashion and design of the time, managed to bewitch even the star system of the era. How can we forget the futuristic dress made up of silver discs that was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film "Two for the Road" in 1967 or the memorable looks of Jane Fonda in "Barbarella", including metallic bustiers, bodices with Plexiglas applications and lame with plastic details? Mina also wore the designer's creations as did Jane Birkin, whose very sensual image remains during the premiere of the French film "Slogan" (1969) in the Paco Rabanne transparent knit dress.



French Coat by Paco Rabanne 


He famous the French coat made of metal mesh and leather triangles made in the late Sixties. Setting aside needle and thread in favor of pliers and pincers, with which he assembled his clothes, during the seventies he continued his research work, introducing new materials into his collections. He celebrates the clothes of the time made with a weave made of beaten aluminum or one made entirely of buttons. The research continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s, focusing on optical fiber and plexiglass. “Sewing is slavery,” he is said to have once said. Revolutionary and experimenter, Paco Rabanne, who passed away last February, remains a true innovator, capable of mixing art and fashion with a pinch of irreverence.

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