‘It’s a fantasized reality, but a reality nonetheless.’


‘It’s a fantasized reality, but a reality nonetheless.’

Designer Julien Dossena and art director Marc Ascoli discuss their ‘reanimation’ of Paco Rabanne.

Interview by Marta Represa
Photographs by Sharna Osborne
Styling by Francesca Burns


For over 30 years Paco Rabanne meant pizzazz. It meant sexy. It meant creativity. But by 2013, when French designer Julien Dossena arrived at the house, Paco Rabanne needed bringing back to life. His reanimation strategy – surprising to some – was not to attempt to out-Paco Paco or go wild with the archives, but rather to return to the heart of the house’s mission with the question: what can Paco Rabanne bring to modern femininity? Dossena has set about quietly rebuilding the brand from the ground up, repositioning it, without removing its soul, trademark touches and poised panache.

Alongside Dossena throughout the process has been legendary art director Marc Ascoli, bringing the expertise and experience amassed over a long career creating some of fashion’s most unforgettable images for the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander and Martine Sitbon. Julien and Marc sat down with System to discuss how the Paco Rabanne woman is always evolving, Françoise Hardy’s 25-kilogramme dresses, and how fashion is as much about observing as making.
In System No. 12. Click to buy.