Rabanne’s new pre-fall 2024 collection is all about the Facets of Dressing, with a range of silhouettes, intricate details, and bold gold and silver features.

A wardrobe through the prism of Rabanne reveals an array of ideas – at once distinctive and relatable, as suited to real life as to singular occasions. Materials captivate and silhouettes seduce. Inspirations are recontextualised and remixed, removed from direct associations. From one season to the next, Julien Dossena considers how a woman’s multi-faceted approach to dressing can evolve through her diverse experiences.

Across this pre-collection, looks are defined by their generous details. Intricate metal embroideries and gleaming studs trace the edges of denim, flowing skirts and cut-out tops – each instance of embellishment highlighting contemporary craft. This artisanal edge also appears on wearable metal mesh pieces, merging ornamentation techniques with an everyday ease. Other exceptional surface treatments include black knit ribbed with gold, silver coated knit and floral printed lace. Inspirations reflect a worldly vision spanning time: a traditional-striped bernous cloak becomes a duffel coat; classic British florals get bolder against a black backdrop; colour-infused stripes vibrate with youthful attitude.

Pieces are enlivened by contrasting characteristics – a stretch leather dress as supple as jersey with covered snaps that contour the body, or else jersey crepe in the classic micro check of tailoring proposed in a draped top and pleated pants. Fluidity and transparency are mutually explored, from sophisticated flou dresses with painterly vegetal motifs to sheer mousseline tunics that transition from day to evening. In continuity with last season, assemblage returns in wood and metal and revisited in glossy black rhodoïd.

Silhouettes shift from slinky to layered as a maxi knit coat is styled like a dress, while Fair Isle and fisherman and sweaters are dressed up and paired with poplin shirts bordered in broderie anglaise. Practical garments are noticeably finessed, whether the perfectly lived- in jeans or the faded surplus green of cargo pants with front vents and padded parka with silver lining.

Rabanne’s statement bags assume new forms and materials. Introduced in the FW23 show, the Paco has become an instant classic in leather, the iconic assemblage twisting around its spacious shape. The1969 is proposed as a mini version panelled in shearing while the Sparkle returns in black discs punctuated with the gold studs from the ready-to- wear. Lastly, the more recent Sphere shape combines metal and leather, once again reinforcing the unique savoir faire of Rabanne.