“What is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.” That (partial) Susan Sontag quote was inscribed on the liner notes of Alexis Mabille’s couture show, but the designer wisely avoided a literal interpretation of his brief.
While Mabille has designed tuxedos — notably for Dita Von Teese — he focused instead on dress variations of that evening suit, in addition to feminine reworkings of men’s shirts. A long dress in white crepe with insets of white lace had a ruffled bib running all the way down the front, in a cross between a shirt and a negligee. Meanwhile, a fitted man’s shirt in Gainsborough blue twill worn with a tattoo-effect black lace bodysuit and a tiered orange twill skirt provided just the right pairing of tough and sweet.
Mabille’s masculine-feminine idea was somewhat diluted by a flotilla of generic lace evening gowns but one ultrafeminine look stood out: a tuxedo dress in emerald silk velvet that split open to reveal a nude satin corset.