Sweet Enough For You? Alexis Mabille’s Sugar-Coated Couture
Dita Von Teese looked immaculate in a starched black body-con cocktail dress, her raven hair glistening with crystal combs and a black crystal net over her face. She was perched on the front row and gave everyone something to look at before the show began.
But instead of the kind of strict black number modelled by Von Teese, Alexis Mabille sent out the frothiest of creations more suited to his pink runway, flanked at the entrance by giant pink urns sprouting pink flowers.
Yes, it was sugar-sweet. ‘To love is to transform her into a heroine of the heart, to drape her in the most exquisite delicacy,’ said the show notes, quoting Leon Blum’s 1914 Le Revue de Paris.
This is why Mabille’s girls were wrapped in whirls of weightless, pleated, frayed organza, nude lace, cascades of flowers, bouquets of origami roses and a hell of a lot of net. Occasionally, these saccharine confections were anchored by a strong piece of tailoring that might pass for day wear – a white double breasted smoking jacket over a long mulit-layered organza skirt or one standout long midnight tuxedo dress.
It was hard to get a grip on this collection that simply spanned too much. From a great wedding cake of a ball gown to a simple column dress with a bow neckline; from powdery pastels to searing magenta and scarlet; and from grand, floor-sweeping red-carpet numbers to thigh-grazing lingerie looks with a boudoirish feel.
Perhaps this diverse approach suits his clients brilliantly, but from a fashion writer’s perspective it lacked clarity. And in fashion today, a strong point of view is everything.