More than one designer in Paris chose to look to the past to reimagine the present of the French capital’s fashion week. This was especially the case at Paco Rabanne with his knights in chainmail. The Middle Ages and its religious order also appeared to have inspired Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne, who sent models down the runway in colourful high-leg, platform boots under the powerful columns and pointed arches of the Conciergerie building in Paris to a soundtrack of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater. Except for a few looks featuring cropped trousers, the entire collection was made up of maxi-dresses, richly decorated with high necks and long sleeves, often puffed, worn with pilgrim-style collars or fringed shawls, which added a hint of retro. White lace had a liturgical flavour, especially when used to create alluring, transparent outfits. The models’ heads were covered, and sometimes even appeared to disappear, hidden by pearl fringes or covered with tight, bonnet-like caps. Some hats resembled a bath cap while others brought to mind the draped hoods found on monk’s robes. The collection was completed with an impressive series of mermaid-esque dresses in metallic gold or silver sparkling chainmail. Embracing the brand’s signature, some were covered with large sequins or beaded fringing. Paco Rabanne’s models looked more like oriental dancers than knights in armour from the Middle Ages.

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