Alexis Mabille celebrated the 10th anniversary of his brand by creating outfits for 15 of his muses, ranging from burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese to actress Bérénice Bejo.
Young and old, each was striking, their figures looming large in a first-floor gallery of the Paris Opera, where the made-to-measure creations were displayed on mannequins placed in front of large-scale portraits by photographer Matthew Brookes of the women wearing the designs.
“With my style, I work to pay homage to women, to make them beautiful and at the same time, for the dresses to blend with their personality,” Mabille explained. “We didn’t want to make fashion photographs, but rather something like timeless paintings — like a big gallery of family portraits.”
As befits a greatest hits collection, he included all his trademark touches, from oversize bows to lace, flowers and column dresses.
The Von Teese gown, a corseted sheath in emerald green jersey, featured a draped back embroidered with bugle beads. For Leslie Caron, the designer made high-waisted tuxedo pants with embroidered stripes, paired with a bouffant-sleeved white satin blouse with lace inserts embroidered with black crystal butterflies.
Ballet dancer Marie-Agnès Gillot was pictured in a nude satin crepe sheath embroidered with curtains of beaded fringe, holding up her son Paul. French model Morgane Dubled, meanwhile, showed off her pregnancy bump in a sheer tulle dress embroidered with oversize sequins, worn over a body-skimming lace slip.
Brookes said the aim was to celebrate all the ages of woman. “We didn’t do much retouching on the women. We wanted them to look their age and look their character and not make them look plastic,” the photographer explained.
Clients will be able to order the full collection, including several looks that were not included in the exhibition. If any of them are still wondering how they can carry off Mabille’s theatrical designs, his elegant paean to women should provide plenty of inspiration.