WWD.com/runway/fall-couture-2008/review/alexis-mabille-collection1591221
runway
shows-reviews

Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2008

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.

alexis-mabille

Alexis Mabille

Photo By Giovanni Giannoni

alexis-mabille

Alexis Mabille

Photo By Giovanni Giannoni

In his program notes Alexis Mabille claimed to be dressing a gaggle of fun-loving, unconventional characters who populate an artsy alternative school. He does in fact offer an alternative take on haute couture, one that banishes stuffiness and staid propriety in favor of an attitude that's fresh, young and sportif. It's a vision in which couture and ready-to-wear comingle proudly, blissfully mindless of any old-fashioned fashion caste system.

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.

PHOTOS BY GIOVANNI GIANNONI