As he continues to grow into the heritage of Paco Rabanne, Julien Dossena opens the door into possible futures — and visions of the past — for the brand. Taking place in the same universe as his men’s fall, the season is his recollections of the arty gallery crowd he encountered as an art history student. There was the stern gallerist, the bourgeois collector, and even looks that could be a form of personal sartorial installation, like an all-grey fringed look with a medieval-looking snood.

Skipping around the decades offered a wealth of shapes and materials, playing off the idea of the future as seen from the past. There were metal mesh and satin blends, “often the first mesh piece that clients dare reach for,” he explained. A traditional sweater was updated with a digital print of blowsy roses. Wispy lace pieces had a split identity that swung between Nineties Courtney Love and jolie madame. Feathers were either giant Seventies prints, or futuristic rhodoid affairs embroidered on an illusion tulle base. Degradé mesh shimmered as a skirt. Pleated knits were digitally printed to create an Op-Art effect. Full-length buttoned slip dresses had a grungy Nineties look.

Ultimately, it’s not just the heritage, or the then-and-now quality of his clothes that makes Dossena’s work stand out. It’s the relish with which he dives into the archives, the playfulness that he pushes into his shapes and material choices.

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