We close with an epic interview with the French fashion visionary. Et Bonne nuit.
Paco Rabanne’s twenty something Artistic Director of Women’s Ready-to-Wear
- Text by Satellite Voices
Guest Feature by Richard Bridgman
Images from the Paco Rabanne Tumblr
The team at Paco Rabanne haven't exactly been dragging their killer Kirkwood heels of late. After an electrifying return to the fashion scene late last year, things have been more than a little tumultuous behind the scenes at the renowned Parisian label.
Much ink was spilled over the surprise appointment of India's design golden boy Manish Arora as Creative Director at Paco Rabanne. Bold, brash and at times pure crazy genius, Arora's high-octane numbers seemed ideally suited to the Great Master's avant-garde design aesthetic.
Though short-lived, Arora's stint as Creative Director will have certainly made a lasting impression, helping to dust off Paco Rabanne's slightly outmoded image while remaining true to brand identity. Two collections and a few thousand metal disks later, Arora announced his decision to move on to pastures new. Quite the blow for Catalan brand Puig, who took control of the Ready-to-Wear collections in 2010.
Manish Arora is clearly a tough act to follow, but Puig would seem to have found the ideal successor in Lydia Maurer, an up-and-coming designer already more than familiar with Paco Rabanne. At just 29 years of age, Lydia Maurer joins the likes of Olivier Rousteing at Balmain and Humberto Leon & Carole Lim at Kenzo as part of a fresh new Parisian design elite.
A quick glance at Lydia Maurer's impressive CV reveals why she is just the woman for the job. Having begun her training at the prestigious Studio Berçot, she went on to cut her teeth at Yves Saint Laurent. After helping to establish Parisian rock chic mecca Rue du Mail alongside Martine Sitbon, she went onwards and upwards to Givenchy, where she oversaw Riccardo Tisci's highly sought after capsule collections. Last stop Paco Rabanne in November 2011, where she consolidated her already considerable design experience as Studio Director.
So what will Lydia Maurer bring to the table? Take some vintage Paco Rabanne, add a pinch of the irreverent Saint Laurent woman, fold in a generous helping of rock à la Rue du Mail, and sprinkle with Tisci's neo-baroque aesthetic. Stir vigorously and Lydia Maurer's vision of the Paco Rabanne woman is served.
A keen architecture and sculpture enthusiast, Ms. Maurer would seem to want to follow in the footsteps of her design forefathers, whose interests lie in exploring atypical textiles and metal sculpture. She is proud to inherit "a creative approach based on both technology and craftsmanship, resulting in a fashion that is instinctive and playful”.
Fashion critics and lovers of Paco Rabanne will have to wait until the Spring-Summer 2013 shows to find out what Lydia Maurer has in store. In the meantime, be sure to brush up on your classics by checking out the house's rich archive material posted on their Tumblr.
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