Paco Rabanne Dies: Spanish ‘Barbarella” Fashion Designer Was 88

Spanish-born fashion designer Paco Rabanne, who was best known for his metallic space-age outfits, has died in France at the age of 88 years old.

The self-taught designer broke into the Parisian Haute Couture scene in the early 1960s with a collection composed of 12 unwearable experimental metallic dresses.

His designs soon became favorites with stars and models of the time such as France’s Anouk Aimée, Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot and the U.K.’s Twiggy.

He soon connected with the cinema world, designing the iconic costumes for Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim’s 1968 cult film Barbarella, which are still on display in MoMA in New York.  

Other cinema credits included Roberto Enrico’s The Last Adventure and Joël Le Moigné’s Les Ponyettes.

Rabanne retired in 1999 but his mothballed label was revived by Spanish company Puig in 2011, which has relaunched it as a fashion house and fragrance business that it now controls.

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