European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Object Focus

EFHA Focus: Paco Rabanne Couture Show


A model on the runway of Paco Rabanne’s Spring/Summer 1996 Couture collection

The photo shows a model on the runway of Paco Rabanne’s show of his Spring/Summer 1996 Couture collection.

The outfit is composed by a jacket, a short skirt and boots, all made in a black shiny material, which could either be leather or PVC. At the centre of the jacket, a sort of big nail is attached, sustaining a sort of umbrella-like hood made of white and transparent plastic, which the model is holding above her head. The design recalls a sort of space inspiration, which characterise the work of Rabanne of the 1960s and 1970s.

Paco Rabanne is a Spanish designer of Basque origins, who became known as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the Paris fashion scene in the 1960s. Rabanne originally trained as an architech, but soon started to collaborate with different fashion houses, such as Dior, Maggy Rouff and Givenchy, creating jewellery and accessories for the Couture. In 1966, he established his fashion house, and his creations were appreciated by many French actresses, artists and singers: Francoise Hardy was one of his fans. In 1968 he dressed Jane Fonda for the infamous Roger Vadim’s movie ‘Barbarella.’ His style is characterised by a thorough use of unusual materials, especially metals and plastic, which he used in his revolutionary couture designs.