Alexis Mabille showed his fall collection at the empty Paris landmark Le Boeuf sur le Toit, where models posed at the bar, walked on mirrored tables and moved through a bare, stainless-steel kitchen. The designer himself redid the interior of the famed ’20s cabaret before the pandemic struck — without an inkling, no doubt, that the plush setting would one day resonate so strongly, albeit via a screen, with a public yearning for nightlife. He had provided the setting, and, as reopenings are beginning to feel within reach, here he gave us the fashion, offering crisp A-line dresses in piqué silk, mostly in blues and golds, along with the occasional brocard number and more fluid pieces, too.

The look: Eveningwear for a late cocktail happening in a dimly lit Paris institution.

Quote of note: “The idea was to launch a very personal collection, quite selective when it comes to silhouettes — sleek and pure silhouettes compared to some other seasons, and really focus on materials…the collection is called ‘Let’s Play,’ with the idea that things will come back,” said Mabille, breaking into a grin. “We all want to have fun!”

Statement pieces: A long, fluid dress in a dark blue devoré velvet with a floral pattern, and touches of shine — a simple, scooped necked, no collar, and loose sleeves. The shimmery sweater dress, its stretchy top cut like a cyclist’s shirt, trimmed with a white satin collar and fixed atop a full skirt — equipped with pockets, as always. “I’m a bit anti-clutch at times,” confided Mabille. A long ivory shirtdress, elongated by a row of pearl buttons running down the front, with a long thin tie that grazed the shins.

Takeaway: Mabille pared down designs — a restrained color palette, clean cuts — and threw the spotlight on models with character. Clara Benador’s surreal French cinema star look, with teased-out hair and pouty lips; wet-haired Chanel model Moira Berntz pushed away the camera; and Marie Beltrami, in a dress matching her silky, pink hair played “Für Elise” — to empty chairs. “A dress is for multiple types of personalities — if not, it would be boring,” remarked Mabille. Rightly so. An engaging approach for an engaging collection.

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