Paco Rabanne Auction to Feature Theatrical, ‘Unwearable’ Designs

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: Fans of vintage Paco Rabanne will be able to snap up some of the Space Age designer’s most theatrical creations at an auction next month – just don’t expect to feel comfortable in them.

On May 31, French auction house Millon will host a sale of 182 outfits collected between 1979 and 2009 by pianist Jorge Zulueta and the late Jacobo Romano, two of the founders of the Argentine theater and music company Grupo Acción Instrumental, whose stated aim was to “revolutionize the lexicon of traditional opera.”

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Pénélope Blanckaert, curator and expert, said the designer was famously uncompromising about using rigid, inflexible materials – a stance she considers all the more provocative at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has made sweatpants ubiquitous. 

“In the age of plurifeminism, the unsubmissive Paco, who already offended in his time, would not tire of shocking people even today with his outrageous remarks,” she said in a statement.

“Paco Rabanne was a prophet well beyond his time; his irreverence paved the way trodden half a century later by creative souls such as Iris van Herpen, Gareth Pugh, Demna Gvasalia, Daniel Roseberry or Ronald Van Der Kemp,” Blanckaert added. 

Rabanne retired in 1999, but his label continues under the ownership of Spanish group Puig, having found a strong creative director in Julien Dossena, who has helmed its ready-to-wear division since 2013. His fall collection was an ode to Eighties opulence, mixing chainmail, velour and  rhinestones to highly seductive effect.  

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Paco Rabanne RTW Fall 2021

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