Paco Rabanne, an iconic fashion designer, dies at age 88

Paco Rabanne, an iconic fashion designer, dies at age 88

Paco Rabanne, renowned for his Space Age metal mesh designs worn by Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Birkin, passed away on Friday at his home in Portsall, France, at the age of 88.

The Spanish conglomerate Puig, which controls Rabanne’s fashion and fragrance divisions, confirmed his passing.

“Paco Rabanne made transgression magnetic. Jose Manuel Albesa, the president of Puig’s beauty and fashion division, stated in a statement, “Who else could make fashionable Parisian women clamor for dresses made of plastic and metal?”

This extreme, rebellious character marked him apart: Rabanne is unique.

Rabanne, known as the “enfant terrible” of French fashion, began his career designing jewelry for Dior, Balenciaga, and Givenchy before launching his own namesake fashion house in 1966. His debut collection, comprised of a series of avant-garde plastic ensembles, was dubbed “12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials.”

Rabanne’s designs were not only wearable, but also desirable. In her 1967 film “Two for the Road,” Hepburn wore one of his metal disc dresses, and the designer also produced Fonda’s distinctive metallic ensembles for her landmark 1968 picture “Barbarella.”

Birkin was one of the designer’s many celebrity admirers; in an iconic photograph of the “Blow-Up” actress and her husband Serge Gainsbourg, both are wearing metal ensembles by Rabanne.

Rabanne retired in 1999, but his brand continues on; Paco Rabanne was resurrected in 2011 by designer Manish Arora, and Julien Dossena assumed leadership in 2014.

Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Dua Lipa are among the celebrities that choose the brand’s metal mesh pieces inspired by Paco Rabanne’s original designs for red carpets and concerts.

»Paco Rabanne, an iconic fashion designer, dies at age 88«

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