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Yet as for that unconventional claim, that's where Mabille really makes hay or HEY. In truth, he doesn't reject convention; he embraces it, starting with traditional notions of French chic. His runway ran rampant with it. He just expresses it with moments of willful irreverence. Take a singular idea, the drop-waist shirtdress. He rendered it cut lean and dark, with pleated schoolgirl propriety, in an artsy black sack rendition, and as an out-there clownish pink polo. He tinkered as well with tuxedo and military motifs, while showing fabulous pants both slouchy and lean, and what may be the only young-looking caftan this side of a Talitha Getty photo. In short, Mabille seems to be just what couture needs: a young, informed talent who doesn't let his deep respect for the milieu get in the way of a good look.
Anne Valérie Hash: With an offering of 16 outfits, Anne Valérie Hash boiled down her haute vision to a concise essence that the designer said was inspired by the "vegetal realm." It translated into some very pretty fare, especially a dress with a petal-like sleeve, and delicate sculptural pleating effects on crepe dresses that subtly evoked the folds on a flower. Equally fetching was a dress of translucent lace and organza panels. Hash's talent lies in making clothes with sensual flair. A long black dress with a plunging neckline was a case in point — it looked sexy without being vulgar. Hash added a bit of drama to the mix with oversize jewelry from Naomi Filmer. But in the couture world of big effects and theatrical gestures, Hash's arty approach, though quite enchanting, felt a bit timid.
Stéphane Rolland: Now in his third solo season, Stéphane Rolland has established a look based on spangles and flounces tempered with "Dynasty"-style glamour. This couture outing, he explored volume, massed sequins on the shoulders of a dress or a jacket and even a Goth moment done up with more sequins. It was more flash than dash.