Words: Jake Halpin
As the lines between gender norms continue to blur and evolve, so too does fashion – forever a looking glass for cultural shifts in contemporary attitudes. Increasingly, fashion designers are producing gender neutral collections, unisex styles and fluid pieces that could just as easily be worn according to either masculine or feminine archetypes – often walking the runway side by side.
For fashion designer Julien Dossena, this notion of gender fluidity and androgyny has always informed his design approach at Paco Rabanne, where he was appointed creative director in 2014. Coming from Balenciaga (where he worked under Nicolas Ghesquière) and after founding his own label, Atto, Dossena was well-positioned to revitalise the house’s fashion image – which had been unattended for 14 years – injecting a modern spirit to the label, reinventing and revolutionising some of the most iconic pieces for the next generation.
For Spring 2020, the time was right for Dossena to launch his first menswear collection at Paco Rabanne – the first menswear collection since the label’s ready-to-wear debut in 1966. He took inspiration from androgynous style icons from David Bowie through to Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix to channel the free-spirited approach to creating individual looks which were unafraid to reference feminine tropes and intersect them with masculine silhouettes.
The collection itself has a distinctly dandy-esque feel – in the prevalence of floral prints throughout, particularly in the tailoring as well as interpretations of the label’s iconic chainmail – this time in short-sleeved collared shirts and singlet vests. A standing collaboration with graphic designer Peter Saville results in psychedelic sunset prints and a tongue-in-cheek t-shirt printed with the word “unresolved” then embellished in crystals – a comment on gender and sexual identity.
Speaking to MATCHESFASHION (who Paco Rabanne has partnered with as the exclusive launch partner for the collection), Dossena says: “There’s been such a new energy taking over menswear lately, it really made me want to explore it. And there’s a sharp sonority to the name Paco Rabanne that very early on made me think it could very naturally be associated to men’s clothes. I really wanted our menswear to be different to everything else in the market.”
Be among the first to shop Paco Rabanne at MATCHESFASHION, and read on to see ICON’s top picks from the exclusive collection.
Paco Rabanne High-Neck Floral Print VelvetTop / $525 AUD SHOP NOW
Paco Rabanne Chainmail Vest / $3,113 AUD SHOP NOW
Paco Rabanne Floral-Print Single-Breasted Cotton-Blend Blazer / $1,557 AUD SHOP NOW
Paco Rabanne Straight-Leg Floral-Print Cotton-Blend Trousers / $735 AUD SHOP NOW