A catwalk built of scaffolding, fenced with metal bars, plenty of grunge notions and kinky latex. Paco Rabanne‘s spring-summer 2023 collection had a surprising twist, as Julien Dossena, the brand’s creative director, departed from his signature romantic-slash-futurist aesthetic. This season, Dossena does not intend to pretend that fashion is detached from what is happening in the world. That’s also why he called this collection “On a Mission.” Latex and PVC, topped with leather straps and chains, looked spicy and highly fetishistic. All the skills of the house went into fabricating a collection which called on the traditional playbook of subversion: grunge slips, punk kilts, fetish rubber, and wipe-clean raincoats, intersected with the house signature silver chain mail. There were also lace, shiny metallic fabrics, experiments with texture and see-through materials that emphasized the power of femininity. The whole “angry Paco” look was crowned with badass, massive combat boots, which were the perfect additions to the tulle ball skirts (very Olivia Rodrigo). Dossena makes no secret of the fact that what’s happening in the world is having a huge impact on him and his work – the war in Ukraine, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. “It’s about this feeling that there’s going to be a fight, and it’s going to be a long one. So, it’s about expressing that passion and giving clothes for the moment to prepare to fight, because that’s what it’s about: no apologies.”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.