Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)
Fashion critic

PARIS — Let us pause for a moment of pleasure. This satisfying aesthetic diversion comes courtesy of Julien Dossena, the creative director of Paco Rabanne. For spring 2019, he has conjured up a collection of mismatched patterns, printed chain mail, glittering knits, and delicate metal-woven slips.


Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

The colors delight the eye. The silhouettes are readily accessible, and the prints dazzle. The collection was an extended riff on a single idea that just got more melodic, more layered and more hypnotic as it progressed.

[Robin Givhan at Paris Fashion Week: full coverage]

The collection, presented Thursday afternoon, called to mind the glamorous élan of the international jet-set — way back when air travel seemed exotic rather than onerous — combined with the laid-back ease of the hippies of yore. But nothing felt retro or vintage about the collection, in part because the fabrics had the crisp gleam of high-tech wizardry and the silhouettes were in keeping with today’s comfort-first philosophy.


Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

This city is filled with clothes that aim to stimulate the mind. Its designers are not necessarily in the business of making dressing easier for women. Designers love difficult clothes. And sometimes, difficult clothes are worth the effort.


Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 2019 collection (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

But the clothes from Paco Rabanne tap into the brain’s pleasure center. You may never own them. You may never wear them. But the collection is like dessert. Even if you don’t indulge, just looking at it can make you smile.

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