Long described as "l"enfant terrible' of the fashion world of the 1960s, Paco Rabanne has today evolved into a name that is synonymous with taste, style, and edginess. Though still a staple on runways and a presence in the top department stores and boutiques, the fashion house has evolved over time and is today upheld as a street chic label.
Born in Spain in the 1930s, Rabanne did not have an easy youth. His father was murdered by Francoist troops and he and his mother were forced to flee their homeland for France in 1939. He studied architecture but moved into fashion instead.
Interestingly enough, his fashion career did not start with the creation of garments for men and women but was instead as a designer working with Dior, Givenchy, and Balenciaga to craft custom jewellery. His success inspired him to open his own fashion house, and the influences of his early years were instantly observable.
He was known for integrating unusual materials such as metal and plastic in a dress or paper in a blouse. This gave him that reputation as one to challenge boundaries, and it also garnered him offers from filmmakers to create innovative costumes. He was brought to world attention for this work when he designed the unforgettable outfits seen in the infamous science fiction film Barbarella.
Almost concurrent with this expansion of his career, he was working with a perfume firm to begin designing his own fragrances. By 1976 he was ready to construct his own factory and his scents continue to be among the biggest sellers in the world.
His innovation is also seen in costumes and design that he provides for Mylene Farmer, a famous French singer who frequently performs vibrant floor shows. In 2013, the designer did step down from creative direction and Julien Dossena was named as his replacement.
Today, his name still remains synonymous with the top fragrances. The range available include the "classics" as well as the newest scents inspired by fashion, media and even their designer's interest in the supernatural:
Fashion is also still a huge part of the work done by the house of Paco Rabanne and in addition to their haute couture collections for runway shows and their ready to wear looks, there is also a resort collection each year as well.
For decades, Paco Rabanne has lived up to his earliest reputation as an innovator. Combining unusual materials, he also has inspired a line of fragrances that does the same. Taking scent to an art form and making it as much a fashion statement as the garments he designs, fans of this fashion house know that it is just as much an expression of their personality as their lifestyle.
PaccoRabanne.com. House. http://www.pacorabanne.com/house