Paco Rabanne, the avant-garde Spanish-born ‘Space Age’ fashion designer passed away on February 3 leaving the fashion world in mourning at the loss of this visionary.

Born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo in 1934 in the Basque town of Pasaia, Francisco was more commonly known as Paco Rabanne . His father, a colonel in the Republican army was executed by Francoists during the Spanish Civil War whereafter Paco Rabanne’s family fled to France where his mother later took a position as a chief seamstress at the Balenciaga boutique in Paris. Rabanne was raised primarily by his mother. “My mum gave me the taste for revolt,” he recalled. She also nurtured his artistic pursuits, which led him to the faculty of architecture at l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts and, subsequently, to jewellery design.

“He was a couturier who did not sew, but who welded, hammered, assembled, who played with the texture of the skin as with fabric, and who reinvented what dressing meant,” official statement. “With his rigid materials and his chainmail creations, Paco Rabanne stood up against the stiffness and heaviness of an environment he saw as a straitjacket, and whose reactions were contrasting, to say the least.”

Surrealist Salvador Dalí, a long-time friend and collaborator, called Rabanne the “second greatest Spanish genius”. Many celebrities and entertainment magnates were besotted by Rabanne’s vision and his designs
we’re the birth of space age fashion, with creations that were saluted by collector Peggy Guggenheim.
He was the enfant terrible of his era and his designs were symbolic of their times, of cult status and worn by the artists of the day. As well as fashion design Rabanne was also known for his fragrances.

Paco Rabanne collaborated with a range of iconic fashion houses and designed costumes for films including Barbarella. He was the recipient of many awards, including  in 2010, the Legion of Honour by Frédéric Mitterrand, France’s minister of culture at the time.

We celebrate Paco Rabanne’s original and bold creativity and his “space age” vision.
His death is a loss and his great legacy will live on and continue to inspire in many creative industries and for many years to come.

by Kim Grahame

Photo courtesy of Moda Mam-e

Fashion Editor

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