Julien Dossena got into many ideas on his Paco Rabanne spring runway, many of them falling under the stylistic umbrellas of retro-future or sporty activewear. But there were a few strays, which accounted for the freshest parts of the collection. Some things worked better than others and the breadth of the lineup left room to cherry-pick.
Futurism is always part of the gig at Rabanne even if Dossena has ebbed and flowed on it during his time at the house. Here, he dialed it up, opening the show with an archival plastic mesh dress worn over a white T-shirt printed with “futuresex” (a Peter Saville collaboration) and a tight white shirt with a spacey bathing cap of a hood that swallowed the head and was pulled up over the chin. Though the suctioned hoodie in stark white overtly signaled “future,” the plastic dress — a V-neck tank done in a new technique that looked like lace from afar — felt newer and more evolved. It was pretty. After that, there was a group of athletic-driven nylon gear in clinical optic white (don’t drop the mustard!) meant to look like futuristic utility uniforms, though they had much in common with current ath-leisure trends.
Crop tops worn with low-rider bell-bottoms and square tailored tops with mini kilts belted around the hips hit upon the collection’s most obvious retro moment. Unsurprisingly, it was not the lineup’s most modern or experimental proposition. That belonged to the lace looks that ended the show. Lace is not a fabric remotely associated with the house, yet Dossena brought it into the vocabulary with a fresh eye. The white lace slipdress with hot pink straps and tights didn’t scream past or future but offered something new and now.