Just a few weeks ago, Alexis Mabille sent out a rainbow of a couture show that pretty much had something for every taste and type. For fall he distilled that concept into about 20 looks that nodded to couture inspirations, colors and cuts, but were made for a clientele that doesn’t necessarily have the budget—never mind the patience with fittings—to shop that way.
“Whenever I compose a couture collection, I always set some ideas aside for ready-to-wear,” the designer explained. At first, he envisioned every look here as if it were white, picturing “rainbow drops” in his mind’s eye to fill out the color story. “Some styles might appear classic in one color, but when you make it fluorescent yellow it becomes something else entirely,” Mabille said. “Color is like therapy for me, and I wanted to use it for winter because, when you think about it, color doesn’t belong to the seasons.”
Evening, for example, is no longer about donning discreet dark hues. It might be about apple green. And it’s definitely not about diamonds and perfect coifs, at least for the younger set, which prefers galaxy hair, chunky footwear, and night-by-day. Working with that ambivalence, and by extension a whole array of women and shapes such as “cloud” dresses in coral satin organza, is where Mabille currently finds the most joy. That’s because focusing on movement lets him forget about silhouette and focus instead on “exploding volumes” and playing with cuts. To wit, a fluorescent yellow number made from 18 meters of silk was the designer’s tribute to Pina Bausch. “You could kick your heels to the sky and there would still be this cascade of yellow. It’s self-accepting and fun,” he said.