There was a bit too much going on at Paco Rabanne for the first show of Lydia Maurer as artistic director for the brand, stepping into the shoes left by Manish Arora last May, after only two seasons. Her dive into the archives yielded a vision of the Rabanne woman as a 70s inspired sexy glamazon. The thigh-high chain sandals, the thigh-high boots with garters, the body harnesses, all this was a little too bondage and distracted from the work that Maurer has been putting into channeling the poetry of metal that Paco Rabanne had envisioned.
And that was a shame, because there were some great silhouettes and clothes that would have stood out more if not for the overtly impudent sexual feeling dripping off those few details. A cropped jacket covering up a dress with a pleated silicone “disc” skirt, accented with metal discs in the pleat was a pleasing sight, as was a silver and white mini-dress with a deep V-neck with white transitioning to silver like a pixel shower. Discs embossed on a sleeve peaked through the stylized tear that surrounded them. A black shift telegraphed the 70s vibe with geometric cuts to the neckline. The elements were there, ripe with interest but somewhat muted behind the oh-la-la.
On a positive note, the 69 bag welcomed a new addition to what is budding as the bestseller item of the Rabanne collections- a leather and metal discs box bag. Regular gladiator sandals and loafers also used sparing amounts of metal accents, creating an interesting embellishment that could translate into an intensely sought-after accessories line.
As for the clothes, here’s to hoping that Lydia Maurer will refine the styling on what shows signs of having the potential to turn out just as interesting a contribution to the house’s narrative as Manish Arora’s had been.
- Lily Templeton