PFW: Pedal To The Metal At Rabanne Spring/Summer 2024

What's in a name? In Paris, Julien Dossena debuts first 'Rabanne' collection with plenty of Paco still at heart
Model on the runway at Rabanne Ready To Wear Spring 2024 held at Palais de Tokyo on September 28, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images)

The air was filled with curiosity around Rabanne’s Spring/Summer 2024 show. The second collection to be shown since the great Paco Rabanne passed away earlier this year, and the first since creative director Julien Dossena — who was appointed in 2013 — decided to drop the ‘Paco’ from the brand’s name, it was to be a telling show for the house’s future.

Closing down the streets of Avenue President Wilson in Paris, guests were eager to see what this new chapter of Rabanne, a beloved brand with a distinct aesthetic, would look like.  And where Fall/Winter 2023 offered moments of a more relaxed take on Rabanne’s trademark glitz, Spring/Summer 2024 lept to the other end of the spectrum.

With the first look, we see a gilded Zena-like figure in a silver chainmail two-piece with chains and baubles. Her footwear included knee-high boots that were slashed to appear like gladiator sandals. Whether she was armed for battle or the club, or whether she was from the ’70s or the future, we’ll never know. But this is exactly the kind of effect that has drawn Dossena to Rabanne’s work.

“There was always this thing [in his work]… you can never tell which age it comes from,” he said before the show, also throwing around “Mystical priestesses” when describing the collection.

Of course, the consistent presence of mesh mail coifs achieved this, but hoods also took shape in non-metal fabrications with gauzy blouses in white and tan that could’ve easily been borrowed from the wardrobe of a Dune film set. Dossena’s taste for mohair also saw the fabric make a summery return in clever separates.

Drapery was a standout feature amongst non-metal fabrics, with a black gown that fell like a Sari and another cascading top with a neckline that wrapped around like a pashmina. And instead of the, at times, dusty tailoring that’s been in focus as of late, Dossena brought some life to the party with suiting that was cinched and cut up with chainmail hemlines.

As he’s wont to do, the designer also played around with different kinds of fringing. From fine chains with leaf-shaped charms or chunkier metal rods dangling like windchimes, it all packed a punch.

Once again, Dossena’s staggering attention to detail results in a ready-to-wear collection that could easily have sat in the couture schedule lineup. People who were expecting a rebrand with the name change would’ve been disappointed, but for the fans, it was a reassurance that Dossena still holds Paco‘s otherworldly vision near.

This article originally appeared on Grazia International