Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne has died, aged 88 at his home in Portsall, France.
Born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo on February 18, 1934, his father was a Republican colonel who had been executed by Franco’s nationalist troops during the Spanish Civil War. His mother was chief seamstress for Cristóbal Balenciaga. The family moved to Paris in 1939 when Balenciaga opened there.
He studied architecture at l’École Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
He worked for Dior, Givenchy and Charles Jourdan as a sketch artist, later creating jewellery for Dior, Givenchy and Balenciaga. He founded his own house in 1966, débuting a collection called 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials, employing unconventional materials such as metal and plastic.
His metallic designs, including his chain-mail mini-dresses, and his Space Age creations, put him on the map, and the brand became linked to the avant-garde.
He was the costume director on Roger Vadim’s 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, and Jane Fonda donned one of his costumes in the opening.
His fragrances were a collaboration with Puig, beginning in 1968, with his first scent, Calandre, released the following year.
Puig acquired the house in 1987. The house was one of the first to launch a product online in the 1990s. Rabanne retired in 1999, and kept out of the public spotlight.
Rabanne had an interest in the supernatural, extraterrestrials, prophecies and reincarnation.
After his retirement, he had an exhibition of his drawings in Moskva in 2005.
He was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour in France in 2010.