Paco Rabanne was a Spanish designer who became known as the 'l'enfant terrible', or unruly child, of the 1960s French fashion world. He began his career making jewellery in unusual materials for many of the French couturiers. In 1964 he was only 30 years old when he presented his first official collection. In 1966 he had his breakout show: 'Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.' and it was with this show that he found his calling. The Met museum noted that 'unlike Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges, who employed traditional couture techniques for their "futuristic" designs, Rabanne was interested in creating fashion with uncharted and imaginative production methods using novel postwar industrial materials.' After a few attempted revivals the label is doing very well under Creative Director Julien Dossena. He has been integral with giving new life to the brand.
The Paco Rabanne pieces made from a fine Oroton metal mesh were a spring board from the earlier chain mail examples and were heavily sought after and collected - then and now. This is a classic design that has been re-issued a couple of times since Julien came on board. My client bought this a few years ago and there is an identical gold version coming soon to the Paco website priced at $6400USD.
The dress is completely made from a gold metal mesh. The mesh has a good weight to it but settles onto the body wonderfully and feels spectacular once on. The metal is very cool at first but once your body heat warms it up, it stays at your body temperature and feels quite sensual. The dress is fairly simple yet complex in its design. You slip it on and it drapes loosely across the shoulders and plunges under the arms. Snaps run along the top of one shoulder and then it snaps to close down one side. The snaps are spaced looser apart along your side but then when it hits the hips the snaps are placed closer together. This causes the fine metal mesh to have a draped effect and hikes the dress up on that side. It snaps to close at the top of the side of each waist. At the back it drapes over your curves in the most beautiful of ways. The mesh creates an almost bias cut effect so that is follows the movement of your body. It has just a touch of transparency to it cause by the tiny spaces between each piece of the mesh. On one side of the bust the mesh is fused together slightly differently to create the slightest illusion of a triangle pocket. It is just stunning and on an actual body it is even better as the mesh moves like molten liquid over you and catches the light from every angle. Exceptional. Excellent condition
It slips on and there are snaps on the shoulder and then along one side as described above. Each snap is engrave with the PR initials and the metal Paco Rabanne tag is attached at the back neck. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Tagged a 38. It is cut looser through the top and narrow through the hips. Once on the waist does drape over a bit
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 38" from shoulder to shortest point of hem, 44" to the longest.
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
Reference Photo: From the Paco Rabanne Website.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.