Iconic 1968 Paco Rabanne Chain Mail Dress in Silver & Gold Metal
Paco Rabanne was a Spanish designer who became known as "l'enfant terrible (unruly child) of the 1960s French fashion world. He began making jewellery in unusual materials for many of the French couturiers and in 1964 at the age of 30 presented his first 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. He was quoted as saying “sewing is a bondage,” and made his dresses out of paper, plastic and metal, which were pieced together with wire and glue. By 1968 some of the most famous women in the world were wearing his pieces and along with André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin, he helped to create the 1960s Space Age movement.
Metal discs in gold are mixed with rows of silver to create this iconic, museum worthy Paco Rabanne dress. The discs are hand linked together one by one to create the shape and form that you see. The shoulder straps are topped by big oval metal plates that have hidden hooks under them and act as closures to the dress. Another large oval disc sits at the back just above the keyhole. The bodice is square cut and the shape is almost like a gladiator's tunic, that ends in a short mini length that shows miles of legs. The center of the dress, with its draped gold toned aluminum chains, is the focal point of the piece. The cut out leaves your entire midriff bare and the chains add unexpected movement. Most examples from this time period are a monochromatic silver and it is unusual and rare to find a mix like this one. Early examples of his work like this dress are held mainly in museums around the globe and pieces rarely come to market. It is exceptional. It's modern day provenance includes being worn by Naomi Campbell and Samantha Angelo. Excellent condition
Slips on to wear with hidden hooks under the oval plates at each shoulder and the back. The discs give it an almost bias cut in the way it sits on the body so it will fit a variety of sizes.
Bust to hip: approx 17-19" flat across from side to side
Length: 31" from shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Photographed for creative purposes by Ted Belton, Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs, Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather. / (2-3) Naomi Campbell photos by @hamishbowles and @naomicampbell on Instagram. / (4-5) Samantha Angelo by Keziban Barry. Click here to see more photos and our full blog post on this > / (6) Photo of Paco Rabanne piece featured in an auction at the Hotel Drouot, Paris / (7) Paco Rabanne adjusting one of his disk dresses with pliers, 1966. / (8) Paco Rabanne with a model in one of his link dresses, 1966.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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