Paco Rabanne styles sexy aliens for spring

4th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Paco Rabanne returned to the catwalks after a five-year absence on Tuesday, as the house's new designer Manish Arora sent out sexy aliens in shimmery python chain-mail and 3-D embroidery.

The Indian designer dug into the Paco Rabanne archives for his spring-summer collection, revisiting the designer's classic 1960s Samourai dress -- a slinky body armour of linked square metal panes -- but this time in glossy python.

Like creatures from another planet, models shuttled down an elevator onto the catwalk inside Paris' futuristic Pompidou Centre, in glinting body armour cut as mini-dresses, skirts, even a full body suit with balaclava-hood.

Silvery skirts were matched with shimmery red organza tops, with accents of gold, while silky dresses had their shoulders and hips bulked out with curled, metallic piping, under swishing pony tails or ornate plastic headpieces.

Arora used a technique known as 3-D embroidery, planting a prickly forest of glass pins on the shoulders and down the arms, back and thighs of a silver dress -- repeated on the heel of the model's shoes.

Other 3-D garments had strips of pins set into the arms or hips, with points of red light at the tip illuminating the clothes from within -- a nod to the collection's title: "Femme Lumiere".

For the finale, ten black models stepped out in spectacular fine-pleated metallic dresses, with giant ruffs that curved out, rose and spun around the head in red, silver and green.

The casting of the show, on the penultimate day of Paris fashion week, was another wink to Paco Rabanne, who decades ago was the first to put black models on the catwalks.

The extravagant Spanish Basque designer is famous for his revolutionary use of materials like plastic and aluminium.

When Rabanne stood down in 2000, the house -- which is now owned by the Spanish group Puig -- tried its luck with a string of designers but wound its fashion operations down in 2006 to focus instead on perfume.

Charged with reviving the house, Arora -- whose own-label look for spring featured eagle-feather collars, fluo stilettos and silver body armour -- said he aimed for something "radically new, but unmistakably Paco Rabanne."

© 2011 AFP

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