Alexis Mabille knows how to make an elegant, sophisticated collection. That much anyone can see from his past couture collections. And this season for the Alexis Mabille Couture spring/summer 2016 collection, the designer brought a new interesting element to the runway: age. He cast models of all ages to showcase the idea of timeless beauty, while seeing the models in their thirties and forties hammered home the glamourous old-style fashion. Models Carmen Kass, Irina Lazareanu, Estelle Lefébure, and Audrey Marnay were among the most well-known of the more mature models on the runway, and were just as elegant as the not-so-well known younger models they walked next to.
French actress Julie Gayet attended this show, as she and Marnay are friends. Gayet viewed her first Mabille show in 2007, so it was this unique addition of older models that brought her back for more. All the more reason to think this was an exceptional idea for a couture show!
And even though the clothes were exceptional in their design and execution, the color palette ensured that the focus was on the models, and the message they carried. “It’s a hymn to beauty,” said Mabille backstage. “That’s why I called the collection ‘Timeless Beauties’ in my show notes. The idea is that the beauty is there – you don’t necessarily have to create it. You provide a foil for it, but when it’s there, it’s evident.”
This concept is such a beautiful sentiment, and an inspirational message for anyone who hears it. Beauty is everywhere, regardless of what someone wears; clothes don’t make beauty. But that didn’t stop the couture apparel in the Alexis Mabille Couture spring 2016 collection from being show-stopping.
The monochromatic color scheme was created with black, white, navy, and nude at the core, but the silhouettes captured the most sophisticated essence of old-time Hollywood glamour. Perfectly tailored garments including aspects of masculine suiting were pristinely made to best feature the models’ natural beauty.
A floor length, hip-hugging gown with buttons and pocket details hinting at a pristine suit was perfectly tailored to the model’s body, and showed the careful work the designer is capable of. This is a jarring look, and perhaps shows where Mabille is pushing himself to transition into in the future.
Mabille, in the past, tended to ebb toward gaudy, over-the-top garments with his signature bow details, but this seems to be a move in a more elegant, mature direction. The result is showing off his craft in a much sleeker manner, as his tailoring and eye for detail can be shown with ease and great success. Of course, he didn’t throw out the fun quirk of his design aesthetic, but he found a way to better showcase it.
A mini dress inspired by a suit coat was cinched at the waist, creating the visual of professionalism on top, was attached to a fully-fringed miniskirt, which coincidentally shows the past and present design aesthetic for Mabille and his brand. And we hope there’s more of this new sophistication in coming shows for the designer.
Photos courtesy of Vogue