Spring 2013 Haute Couture: Alexis Mabille's Lace and Frivolities


Young couturier Alexis Mabille had been showing his collections during Paris couture week as an invited guest since 2008, then in December 2012 he joined the very exclusive club of Grand Couturiers when his maison was awarded the official haute couture appellation by French fashion’s governing body, the Chambre Syndicale. Currently, only 14 designers can officially call their collection “couture” – these includeChristophe Josse, Stephane Rolland, Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Maurizio Galante.

On January 21, the newly minted Grand Couturier unveiled a sugar-sweet collection full of lace and mesh and rich in reference to his previous collections together with his now-established signature detail: the bow.

To celebrate the milestone, the 37-year-old couturier made sure there was plenty of craftsmanship on offer, from pleated organza with lace inlay, embroidered with twist, or sprinkled with crystals.

The collection opened with a pink belted camisole with lace arabesques embroidered with hyacinths and leaves of pleated organza, worn over pink radzimir pants. The playful look set the tone for the rest of the collection, which offered elegantly long sweeping skirts as well as swinging miniskirts, often with an ellipse-cut, and lots of frilly layering of lace and organza fabrics, and just enough transparent fabric to create a real sauciness that counterbalanced the sweet candy-colored tones. He talked to ARTINFO about his latest collection:

What was the starting point of this collection?

This time, it was more a mood than a story. This collection is really about fragility and delicacy. These two words are important in couture to express sentiments, and a sentiment in each couture piece is necessarily unique. I wanted to bring a certain fragility and lightness to the work, something that is impossible in ready to wear because the craftsmanship has to be specific.

One word to describe this collection? 



How has this collection evolved from last season’s?

The theme is different but there is a logical continuation in my work showing another facet of what our ateliers can do. There is still this strong appeal for a woman who has the culture to know about clothes and play with them.

There seems to be more lace?

There is a lot of work on mesh, point d’esprit (fine bobbinet with scattered woven dots), and lace that underlines the minute work of the atelier and creates poetic effects. After mixing so many pieces of lace and embroideries to recreate a new one, you don’t know where the lace starts and when it becomes a fabric.

There was a lot of pleating work, is that helping create movement?

Yes, lightness; movement; attitude; freshness; colors which are changing with the layering of fabrics. It is like a millefeuille on all the pieces even when you don t know it.

You went for very sugary tones, quite different from the jewel tones of your previous two collections.

Yes that’s normal, I never want to do the same thing or it would be boring.

The bows made a strong come back in this collection, in all sorts of shapes, too.

Yes but they are light and very integrated to the silhouette. It’s a signature and I’ll do them again in the future.

You had a few short dresses and tailored pencil pants. Do you think it’s a must nowadays for couturiers to offer more daywear?

It is just what I wanted to say. Pencil pants focus the eyes on the top work sometimes, and on top of that, pants are very much worn by clients nowadays; it’s really a fashion attitude.

As first published on BlouinArtinfo.com