Friday 27th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Paco Rabanne: Ready-To-Wear SS20

Paco Rabanne designer Julien Dossena knows all about nightlife. His father owned a nightclub in Brittany and when he couldn’t get a babysitter, would put a mattress in the coat check for Julien and his sister to sleep on. His fascination with the energy of the night came from there and it’s now playing into his work at Paco Rabanne. Dossena has spent the past five years establishing a Paco wardrobe to include sharp tailoring military coats and pert trousers. He’s reinvented the floral dress as an edgy item worthy of a cool girl’s attention. In short, he’s built a credible Paco wardrobe.

Now he’s pushing more heavily into party dressing and everyone wants an invite. As if to underline the point, the blacked-out show space looked like a nightclub, and the catwalk was lit with rainbow disco lights. Even the daywear at the beginning of the show had a sense of occasion. A tea dress was printed with dancing disco light spots and bore a bold heart motif on the breast. There were quirky sunset jumpers, cape-back lace mini dresses and seventies floral day dresses. Wonderfully vivid, the look was vibrant, joyful and hedonistic with seventies accents. These were clothes to enjoy life in.

The pieces that shone (literally and figuratively) were mesh assemblage pieces created by hand by specialist craftsman. Dossena twisted ropes of metal into a spiderweb of stars for a swishing metal skirt, printed the house’s signature metal mesh with optimistic daisy patterns and deftly fused printed silk and mesh together for party dresses. As if an entirely chainmail high necked cocktail dress was not fabulous enough, Dossena embedded crystals into the metal for extra shine. The final dress captured the spirit of this feel-good collection: a silver metal-disk shift dress, constructed on the bias covered in red heats. Love it? How could you not!

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.