Paco Rabanne won international acclaim following the launch of his eponymous fashion house in 1966.
And throughout the course of his career in fashion and fragrance, he had a number of career-defining moments.
Here are some of the late designer’s greatest achievements and most memorable career moves.
– Rabanne’s debut couture collection titled 12 unwearable dresses in contemporary materials
The House of Paco Rabanne wishes to honour our visionary designer and founder who passed away today at the age of 88. Among the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, his legacy will remain a constant source of inspiration. pic.twitter.com/H2ARz41BjY
— Paco Rabanne (@PacoRabanne) February 3, 2023
Two years after presenting his first collection, Twelve Experimental Dresses, and following the founding of his fashion house, Rabanne presented his debut couture collection of 12 dresses made out of unlikely materials, which included a chain mail-inspired minidress made of aluminium plates.
The collection also included Rabanne’s first plastic dress – a mini dress made from iridescent plastic discs joined together with metal jump rings.
The collection was shown at the Hotel George V in Paris and saw models wear the dresses with nothing underneath and without any shoes.
His eccentric work received both praise and criticism, but ultimately propelled him into the world of luxury fashion where he would become a heavyweight.
-Jane Fonda’s Barbarella costume
Rabanne was the designer responsible for Jane Fonda’s recognisable green costume worn in her 1968 film Barbarella.
Starring as the titular character in the science fiction film – based on the French comic of the same name – American actress Fonda, 85, donned the iridescent green bodysuit, which was embellished with black and green plastic squares linked together around the waist and neck.
-The release of Rabanne’s debut fragrance Calandre
In addition to his contribution to the fashion world, Rabanne established himself as a luxury fragrance trailblazer after the launch of his debut fragrance Calandre.
The fragrance, for women, was launched in 1969 and is described by the Paco Rabanne website as “feminine, avant-garde perfume for women”.
Following the popularity of Calandre, which is still on sale today, the fashion house launched a string of other perfumes including the ever-popular Lady Million, known for its eye-catching gold bottles.
– A surprising dismissal by contemporary Coco Chanel
As a result of his creations made from unusual materials, French fashion designer Coco Chanel, who founded her own eponymous fashion house, dismissed Rabanne as a “metal worker”.
Of Rabanne, Chanel said: “He’s not a couturier. He’s a metal worker.”
Perhaps in response to Chanel’s words, Rabanne later released the Le 1969 bag, a rectangular bag made of coin-sized metal discs joined together with rings, which was worn by the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Francoise Hardy.