Paco Rabanne (born 1934)
Plastic pailletes joined with metal wire
Museum no. T.165-1983
Worn and given by Baroness Helen Bachofen von Echt
Paco Rabanne led the field of radical experimentation in elite fashion design in the 1960s. Having trained as an architect, initially he made plastic buttons and jewellery for Paris couture houses. When he opened his own fashion business in 1966, his architectural background and the current interest in space travel informed his work. Using techniques borrowed from jewellery, he created sculptural dresses in unconventional materials which broke all the rules.
This 'chain mail' dress was worn over a flesh-coloured bodystocking. Baroness Helen Bachofen von Echt wore it to a party in New York where she danced with Frank Sinatra.