Couture week has come and gone but there are still precious gifts waiting to be opened. Take Alexis Mabille’s F/W Couture offerings – a pristine mix of luxe menswear and frothy feminine pieces that towed the line between girlish and gothic. Though it is only his second season showing couture Mabille’s designs display a level of ease that belies greater experience. With much of the couture week attention going towards houses who have been in the game since its golden age, a new perspective can get lost amidst the fray.
Though the overall theme revolved around an imagined school, the selection was far from juvenile. For men Mabille created a dapper silhouette of snug jackets and loose fitting pants in blacks, greys and the occasional burst of pastel yellow. There were touches of the same collegiate chic in the contrast piping that added interest to coats and Nehru collared jackets that ran through both the masculine and feminine pieces. The Mabille man is a young turk – or is at the very least young at heart. A certain exuberance is required to pull off primrose blazers with ruffled bows peaking from the pockets.
For women the look is a mix of the minimal and the overtly frou-frou. A series of moody black dresses with militaristic brocade make way for a second set of lace and tulle creations. The line between hard and soft is crisscrossed frequently but it’s the delicate pieces where Mabille’s talent truly shines. The classic black and white tulle dress is a couture standby (Chanel and Gaultier’s versions are already iconic) but Mabille makes it his own by placing the ruffles right at the neckline and letting them flow. Metallic ombre is a risky proposition but in shades of seasonally anachronistic pink and green it seems like something out of a fable rather than off a runway – the combination shouldn’t work and yet it does. Likewise the final gown with its overabundance of transparent frills borders on the superfluous but once can’t help but being drawn in by its candy floss charms.