Two designers have come and gone at Paco Rabanne in the space of two years. Avoiding the retro-futuristic minefield proved no easy task for Manish Arora and Lydia Maurer. Now the job belongs to Julien Dossena: His name is not yet familiar, but he won't remain unknown for long. Dossena launched his own label, Atto, with design partner Lion Blau earlier this year, and the clothes, which had a bit of a mod sixties feel, were scooped up by influential stores.

Today, Dossena demonstrated an understanding of the Rabanne codes—name-checking Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin, using chain mail and Rabanne's signature "moulé Giffo" molded plastic—but he has a light touch. Take that chain mail, for instance. The potential for cliché is pretty high, but Dossena made it look modern by layering sporty unzipped tank dresses on top. It's a bit tougher to make the shiny molded plastic feel new and not retro-stiff, but Dossena did his best by cutting the dresses super-short and sending them down the runway on pointy cowboy flats.

Dossena worked at Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière, and from him, perhaps, he learned that it takes more to rebrand a heritage company than updating the archives. It requires new propositions. The sporty dresses at the end of the show were a cool reinterpretation of the seen-it-everywhere bomber jacket. Pink overalls, meanwhile, weren't anything like vintage Rabanne, but they did look like what girls want to wear now. That counts for a lot.