Alexis Mabille , who showed a very interesting and compelling mens collection just days ago unveiled his Fall 2009 couture collection. Much anticipation accompanied this presentation. As I've heard so much about this relatively new couturier I looked anxiously at what he would present. For the most part I didn't so much see a collection of couture but a ready to wear collection with some lovely offerings. There were very beautiful dresses, a suit or two and gowns. To my mind very little of it felt like Haute Couture. Granted , the criteria for what constitutes couture is a very broad one but there was a prevailing sense that this was Pret a Porter. Charming, artful creations were scattered throughout. His leit motif and most used fabric was lace. The shapes were very soft and loose giving me the sense that draping, tailoring, a sophisticated understanding of what constitutes flou was barely in evidence. A beautiful suit in white with double breated jacket, frothy blouse and lace inlaid pants was the most dramatic of the suits. A serrated edge on the jacket and the clever inlay of lace running down the leg of the trouser was very elegant and fresh. Other suits were just that, merely suits.One in pale rose looked like Armani collection, not Prive. Another in a rich brocade was a jacket topping hotpants. Nothing about either seemed hand made or even particularly rich. Dresses ran the gamut of a voile dress in white, better suited for a racy french maid. Some of the lace dresses were just banal except for the artistry of the lace itself. Couture is so much more than just the fabrics, but by their shapes. My favorite pieces were the palest blue satin organza tops over circular matching short organza skirts all trimmed with a tea stained lace trim. As lovely as these pieces were, they were too easy, too simple to translate as more than nice ready to wear. There were one or 2 fantastic dresses in silk drap.One column was asymmetrically draped under one arm and fell as a column. Very chic. Spare lovely. But in the end it felt as though he'd not made the leap yet to the vaunted title of Haute Couturier. Here are a few examples to illustrate my points.