Sweet, Sweet Times. Paco Rabanne SS20

Nostalgia has conquered fashion, and nothing can be done about that. But some designers make it really, really joyous. Paco Rabanne‘s Julien Dossena is a great example. Since his last spring-summer collection for the brand, something finally clicked and the designer finally seems to be feeling more confident with his vision for the brand. Chain-mail dresses aren’t the sole focus. He looks at the Paco Rabanne heritage from another angle. “He was utopian, not dystopian”, Dossen says of Rabanne. The 1960s and 1970s, when Rabanne was the bright new thing, were times of limitless optimism in France and for the enviably stylish and beautiful people who were part of a generational awakening. Julien took 1970s pop and psychedelia under the lense, creating something carefree and fun. “A dreamer and a realist…symbols of naiveté rather than nihilism.” A big red heart was placed in the center of the bodice of the first dress he sent out, and repeated in men’s chain mail top in the finale. “To me, it’s about a kind of strength. Being proud of being nice and kind. It’s something that I value now,” said Dossena. “I don’t know if that makes sense visually, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about.” The puffed-sleeve lamé blouses and the skirts, and the mod pants suits (based on templates pioneered by Françoise Hardy and Prince) were the collection’s major highlights, just as the juicy Guy Bourdin colour palette. A standout piece? The patchworked leather jackets with rising sun and cosmic planet motifs. It’s a delightful line-up, which instantly lands on my ‘season’s favourite’ list. Also, this collection will sell like hot buns, I think.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Rouje Paris

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Jeanne Damas is a French actress and model, and most of all, the definition of a French girl. Oozing with love for Jane Birkin’s style and Parisian nostalgia, Rouje is Jeanne’s eponymous, friend-packed label with extremely chic and surprisingly affordable essentials. Mini-skirts, flared jeans and flower print dresses – it’s all about feminity, but a touch of the past. Rouje is also a tribute to every woman who inspired Damas. “I’ve always been surrounded by women with strong personalities; my mother, my sister, my aunts, my friends. I am fascinated by the appearance they can have – simple details such as a walk, a way to talk, gestures, a way to wear a piece of clothing.” Both, the website and the brand’s Instagram feed (I’ve mentioned it here) is filled with analog photographs by Sophie Arancio and Adeline Mai, keeping it in the moody vibe of the label’s designer and muse in one person. J’adore.

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Neo-Nostalgia. Julien David Pre-Fall’16

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Nostalgia is having a moment lately in the fashion industry – after Alessandro Michele’s vintage affair at Gucci, the old has never been so… new. And Julien David proves this in his pre-fall 2016 collection for his eponymous, made in Japan label. The emerald green, granny shirts and skirts had a lot to do with a wardrobe, which suddenly revived from few decades ago; the supposedly Star Wars inspired, over-sized t-shirt is a nod to thrift-shop-born, 90’s style – in other words Julien looks back at the decades with a 21st century glance. Easier, street-style ready sweat-shirts or affordable, white shirts were spiced up with elongated, buckled belts. The French designer’s collections are edgy, but always comfortable – take a look at this balloon-like, voluminous coat – modern, but with a appealing soigné vibe. Lastly, the shoes. Neon-shaded, chunky club footed clobs. I bet the fans of Julien David’s vision will do anything for these orthopedic dreams. Just like for this laid-back pre-fall update.

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Faux Nostalgia. J.W. Anderson Pre-Fall’15

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Jonathan Anderson surprises. His SS15 was unexpectedly lady-like while pre-fall is very nostalgic – 60’s mini skirts, 70’s psychedelic prints and “granny” necklaces and bracelets. “Nothing works together,” he added gleefully during the presentation. “When something makes me uncomfortable, I resist the temptation to make it look good.” That’s visible- in this collection he mixes so many styles from the past, that the result seems to be modern, and surreal. A bit like the Soviet Russian architecture – at the first sight it seems to be modern, but in reality deep historical influences hide behind it’s walls.

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Ukrainian Institute of Technology, Kiev

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Presidium of the Russian Academies of Science, Moscow

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Polythechnic Institute, Minsk

But coming back to the collection – “I’ve never been a designer designer,” he said. “I see it more as a look, what’s new right now.” And this—with its odd fabrics and peculiar proportions, cerebral and sensual—looks just that. New right now. But with faux cover which hides the old roots. The colours and textures combined with those curvy belts and emalia earrings makes me wonder. And I like when a collection makes me want to think, compare and research.

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