I was right miffed with the PUIG Group when they let go of Manish Arora only after a couple of seasons as the design helmsman of Paco Rabanne, about a month ago. It seemed a bizarre decision then, but now, with the appointment of his successor yesterday, a somewhat clearer picture has emerged of why he was dismissed. Wanna know, wanna know?
Lydia Maurer, a 29-year old German-born designer! Having previously worked at Givenchy, Martine Sitbon and Yves Saint Laurent after graduating from the prestigious Studio Berçot design school in Paris, she joined Paco Rabanne in November as the studio design director of the house.
Basically, rumour has it in the fashion circles that Manish Arora’s totally unwearable extremely futuristic Spring/Summer 2012 catalogue was a glorious failure with the retailers. THIS, got him on the wrong side of the weighty folks at PUIG Group who having instructed a wearable line, were expecting one.
SO, word on the street is that they roped in Ms. Maurer in November to oversee the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, which, actually, turned out to be rather sleek all the while playing with the house’s signature chain-mail. It’s an utterly wearable and thoroughly covetable (we saw Freida Pinto rock a couple during the Cannes Film Festival) collection, which raked in many new retailers for the brand, including the storied Le Bon Marche.
Back in March when the collection was showcased, I was super impressed and pleasantly surprised by how Manish was finally able to curb his avant garde leanings and channel his talents in the right directions.
But it looks like someone else was pulling the strings, who felt the Paco Rabanne look should be “more feminine, fluid and warm” and also “appeal to women who don’t necessarily want to be living sculptures.”