Alexis Mabille’s client list is as diverse as they come: Lady Gaga, Dita Von Teese, Carole Bouquet and Rihanna have all worn his creations. So when he was designing his fall collection, displayed on mannequins during Paris Couture Week, the designer didn’t have a specific type in mind.
Instead, he catered to a variety of styles with outfits that were by turns streamlined and highly decorative. Titled “Tête-à-Tête,” the presentation held in the gilded rooms of a 19th-century mansion played on contrasts between minimalist and maximalist, introvert and extrovert.
“The thing they all have in common is that they like my work,” Mabille said of his clients, who range from eccentric Californians to Middle Eastern royals. “It’s sort of an open palette, inspired by the way we work with clients in the showroom.”
Hence, a white sheath dress that was densely embroidered with silver ribbons, crystals and pearls, and topped with a mesh cape stretched over a pointed crystal hoop, was shown next to a tiny white bustier dress with satin tuxedo lapels.
If there was a common thread running through the collection, it was the notion of volume, whether achieved through intricate hidden construction or featherweight outer layers, like the frothy black tulle evening coat with a bustle back that was tossed over a Playboy Bunny-style black satin bodysuit.
Feeling modest? Why not opt for a sweeping white coat dress with a standaway collar that looked simple, but was probably the most complex dress in the collection, according to Mabille. Sandwiched between its layers of white satin organza was a mix of horse hair and tulle designed to achieve a “crunchy” texture, he explained.
It was the kind of detail that would get totally lost on a catwalk — though she sure would have made a fine bride.