Paco Rabanne was at the helm of the Space Age movement in fashion, which took off in the 1960s. Alongside fellow designers, André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin, Rabanne pioneered a new, intergalactic look, creating designs unlike anything people had seen before, with unconventional materials like plastic discs and aluminium plates. The designer extended his popular sci-fi reach when he designed the costumes worn by Jane Fonda in the 1968 cult classic Barbarella, which is set in the 41st century. In short, he was a futurist who helped shape the way we imagine space travel and the cosmos today.
It’s no surprise, then, that when the brand launched a beauty collection it would look straight out of outer space. Released today, Rabanne Beauty is a full-face range of make-up that plays with the brand’s history, metalwork roots and futuristic aesthetic. Comprising eyeshadow palettes, mascara, creamy eye paints, lipsticks, foundation, highlighter and glitters, the make-up line is vegan and housed in sleek, chrome packaging inspired by Rabanne’s catwalk archive, including the 1969 chainmail bag.
Rabanne Beauty has been overseen by make-up artist Diane Kendal, who as creative director, brought her belief that “there’s no beauty, only beauties” to the collection. As you might expect, metallics feature prominently in the product shades which include shimmering golds and icy silvers as well as playful colours like a bright sky blue that is perfect for anyone wanting to join the blue eyeshadow trend that is sweeping beauty right now.
In 2002, Rabanne reflected on the social and political landscape of the 60s when he first started designing his chainmail and metal disc-ed creations. “It was a moment when women emerged to be warriors because they needed to affirm their desire of emancipation, freedom and liberty,” he said. “The armour was almost necessary.” In today’s fraught climate, when make-up and beauty have emerged as the chosen mode of self-expression, will this be our new armour?