Inside Paco Rabanne

5th December, 2012

Back when I was in fashion school, one of my classmates was doing a thesis on the designer Paco Rabanne. We spent countless sleepless nights in the sewing lab together, me perfecting my french seams and she connecting hundreds of thousands of metal links, faithfully recreating the iconic designer’s famously fabric-less frocks.Since then I’ve had a fascination with Paco Rabanne’s work. Known as the ‘Metal Worker’, Paco came to fame in the 1960’s, when progressive engineers in every field were focusing on innovation and new technology. Those were the days when remarkable achievements were being made in space, and that backdrop inspired artists like Paco to eschew traditional techniques and materials. He overturned the long-held assumption that clothes had to incorporate fabric and thread, his plastic and metal dresses reminiscent of an android’s glowing hard skin in science fiction fantasies.Today, the house that Paco Rabanne built is undergoing an exciting revitalization. A talented new designer, Lydia Maurer ~ who has worked under Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy ~ has taken the reins and is reinventing the brand’s classics, infusing them with a new softness and youthfulness. Rather than completely overhauling the archives, she’s reimagining their signature silhouettes and techniques, replacing some of the metal with silicone, silk and guipure lace. It’s a more sensual version of Rabanne’s oeuvre, something lighter and more poetic. She’s imbuing a sweetness into Paco’s visionary perversions.On our recent trip to France, Jamie and I were invited into the Paco Rabanne studio. It was a week before the team was set to unveil their Spring 2013 collection at Paris Fashion Week, and everyone was calmly buzzing about in preparation. Honored by this unprecedented access, we quietly watched as this incredible team of artisans put the final touches on many months’ worth of work ~ and I even lent a hand with a few key links!|PHOTOS| by Jamie Beck

  • Anonymous

    love watching designers!

  • Rachelle

    wow great post, such an awesome opportunity.


  • Alice

    I absolutely adore this brand, but I always wondered how heavy these pieces would be on the actual body. 🙂


  • ClosetConfections

    such a cool experience. i’m sure it was fascinating. thanks for sharing.


  • Elena Vasilieva

    obsessed with these black and white shots. absolutely amazing

  • Viviana Alma Falcone Molinelli

    wow! awesome pictures and work of course! xo, Alma

  • monkeyshines

    Fabric less designs are some of the most aesthetically forward creations that still resonate today– Great photographs!

  • eVA

    bLACK & wHITE Sucks

  • Berty Morales

    Amazing and thanks for sharing.

  • Sophie Lewis

    Amazing detail I love the metalwork! xx

  • Victorianna Walilko

    i’m in love with this story! so beautiful and DIFFERENT!
    the black and white photos really highlights the rawness of metal.
    brilliant fashion.

  • Betsy

    oh wow! Very interesting metalwork

  • Freya – Fashionable People

    Beautiful behind the scene shots as usual! Love the sketches 🙂

  • Guest

    Love the perfumes 😉 very nice blog post !!

  • Jules Fashion Week

    Love her Perfume !!

  • Fashionrolla

    OMG. I love his so much! Such a creative dude! 🙂

  • Ashley Taylor

    Gorgeous! I’d love to see the detail in person.

    xo Ashley

  • Anonymous

    the sketches are beautiful!

  • Fatin


  • jennifer jones

    Too cool!!!!

  • patriciabrand

    love his creativity!!!

  • Manon
  • Valeria Alvarez

    Such great pics from the inside of the company, and a nice article to read!

    <3 Val (1st giveaway is on!)

  • SR

    So cool. Do they file the burrs on the jump rings after closing them or do anything special to make the wearable pieces comfortable? Thanks for sharing this amazing experience!

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  • Petite Adventures

    This is so cool! I had never heard of Paco Rabanne – thanks for providing such a fabulous introduction!

    Kate xo

  • vittoria gallacci

    Backstages are magical: I cannot do not love them!

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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