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Mon 5 Oct

This was unadulterated Paco Rabanne. Julien Dossena had brought back the chainmail in a big way with his A/W 18 collection, but for SS21, he had crafted the chainmail aesthetic through a typically Paco Rabanne fantasy lens. 

Barbarella-esque sexiness came through in the scooped focus on breasts, lacquered coat and sharp heels, which when merged with Dossena’s signatures for the brand - flowery assemblages, leopard print motifs and lace trims - created a great balance of old and new. As did the trompe l’oeil glitz, brooding long fringes and flannel and denim trousers.

Baby-doll dresses and lingerie-inspired shapes kept the collection soft and sensual amongst the clatter of chainmail coats, dresses and masks. Chainmail was everywhere in some form or another, on the walls, on bags, and around necks. Seeing it in such quantity reminded one of the space-age aesthetics so associated with the house, a feeling that, despite the fabric's presence in previous Dossena collections, has felt a world away. Shoes were perhaps the biggest change in aesthetic for Dossena, with black leather boots strapping into silver-cage like heels. This collection had the avant-garde ideas of 60s Rabanne brought to the now, but one would have liked to see more of a homogenising of the two for this to fully succeed.