PARIS–Manish Arora was recently chosen as Paco Rabanne’s next head designer–and this made us look for hints of his new designs throughout namesake collection’s catwalk.
“When I designed this collection I didn’t know about Paco Rabanne,” Manish told us minutes after the show, “but I think the timing is right. This collection is for a woman, not a girl. She is still having fun, but is more sophisticated.”
Indeed, the designer known for his wild runways and colorful embroideries showed new signs of maturity. Sure, the catwalk kicked off with a magician who made a model appear in a box, but the silhouettes were body-conscious–like a teenage girl growing into adulthood and learning to dress for her figure.
The sequins, wild motifs and colors were still there. “Fashion should make you stand out, not disappear in a crowd,” Manish said. (We wonder how he feels about Parisiennes’ enduring love for black.) In a shimmery leather patchwork he put together 1940s silhouettes, a round-necked top with a pencil skirt, beaded jackets, and fox pieces with emerald eyes to be worn on the shoulder. “India is still present, but more ‘internally’ than on the actual designs, in the richness of materials, the embroideries. You need to touch the clothes to realize it.” he said.
Half wild, half wise was the key to the show: organic motifs on bodysuits and leggings were then followed by a deep blue cropped jacket worn on a black dress.
Trompe-l’oeil tights, cathedral-looking dresses, Aztec influences all contributed to making the show as eclectic as always. Yet high waists, subtle tailoring, and constructed floor-length Oscar-worthy dresses added an element of maturity that makes him more than ready to take on the role at Paco Rabanne. “Two years ago might have been too early. But now, I’ve shown eight seasons in Paris, and I can do it!” he said with a smile.
**All photos by Imaxtree.