Julien Dossena has refreshed and reengineered the house’s narrow Space Age focus, establishing a ready-to-wear identity with an edgy athletic currency without abandoning Rabanne’s futuristic codes. Rather, he has savvily pulled the label’s signature circular plastic disk decorations into the orbit of today’s world. The motif was the most interesting thing on his fall runway, well handled on wearable apron shift dresses and tanks in blue, green and gray plastic circles that had a sci-fi hippie vibe when paired with classic tailored outerwear and techy takes on denim.
Mastering Rabanne’s language seems to be less difficult for the designer than disassociating with the vocabulary he learned during his time with Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. The influence has thus far had a mostly positive effect on Dossena’s runway, but its overbearing presence in fall’s rubberized black leather outerwear in exaggerated baby-doll shapes and tough deconstructed tailoring made for an uneven collection.