Alexis Mabille catwalk show report S/S 2016 for Haute Couture
Alexis Mabille’s SS16 haute couture collection is shocking. Not because of the number of sheer dresses and semi-naked models, but because of the divergence from the designer’s usual style of some of the pieces. Mabille is known for his extravagance, for his bows, his ruffles, his sequins, and while these were naturally present in his latest collection, some outfits showed a (dare I say it?) minimalist streak.
Contrast was key, between masculine and feminine, black and white, vamp and virgin. The tuxedo was a reappearing theme, with buttons, lapel-like collars and black silk popping up, as well as pantsuits and jumpsuits. Is this perhaps the maximalist take on power dressing? We even witnessed a subtle allusion to Mabille’s trademark flourish, in a black crêpe sheath dress where the back was softly gathered together to form a delicately draped bow.
The designer further explores femininity with his “barely there” dresses, with plenty of embroidered lace inserts and nude fabrics. He contrasts this sexuality with a use of light and dark, as only the navy and black lace dresses are at all sexual.
The others manage to maintain a natural, purer image, more like fairies than vixens. The models’ hair mirrored this innocence, with tear-shaped rhinestones on one side of their parting, like dew drops. Their make-up was undeniably pretty and girly, with pink-tinted blusher and lipstick.
There were some beautifully decadent gowns tonight, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy-esque satin bustier with blush pink tiers of tulle, organza and lace. There was even the effortless luxury of peignoirs, one of which was trimmed with ostrich feathers and worn over a men’s white silk shirt, creating the image of a 20s nightclub singer throwing on her robe to let the cat out. Yet despite the enormous quantity of feathers, chiffon or crystals, it was the evening sheaths, smoking dresses and cape-like sleeves which were most memorable.