Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alexis Mabille Fall2010 Couture: 8 Easy pieces

This collection had something of the Donna method to it. 8 VERY expensive,easy pieces. Imagine an Haute Couture collection designed as a system of mix and match separates and a gown to take you from late afternoon to sunrise. Judging from the 15 exits, morning would be spent either sleeping or mapping out what chic combination would satisfy your day's packed schedule of By Appointment Couture showings at other houses( a necessity if you want more to wear than the same thing again and again) , very late lunches, cocktails, the ubiquitous Gala and the all night exclusive get together in the VIP section of the Boom Boom Room. I know this sounds a bit sharp and I don't want to give the impression of a lack of interest in the method , but it was a bit lite in substance.

Perhaps , the whole idea of pieces that can be taken apart, reshuffled with a skirt, pant or long evening skirt is a clever and economical way to create many different looks. Many of them were beautiful and certainly crafted with rigor and a very light hand. I keep coming back to the question I ask when looking at Mabille's work: Is this Couture? Or is it Demi-Couture? Or at best,Haute Pret-a-Porter? The Smoking was lovely in an ubiquitous way. One moment the satin and lace trimmed lapel jacket is paired with trousers, then with a satin ribbon trimmed mini. A lace over tulle tea length bustier is one moment a froth of a dress then the bustier is popped over the smoking's trousers and one would assume the Smoking jacket would in turn, slide over that. With only 15 exits, this game of Couture bait and switch was not ultimately that exciting. The mysteries were constantly being revealed before each could be resolved. The clothes themselves were quite beautiful. Several pieces were really great: the embroidered black velvet gown at the end, the pick silk crepe bolero with a lavish bow tied at the neck, the frothy, flirty lace over tulle evening dress at the start that felt very retro-Givenchy (the real deal one, not sloppy seconds Tischi). I'm just a bit staid in my view of the components that constitute a Couture collection. The rules which governed who would participate, the type of creation and workmanship that must be included and possibly the number of looks to qualify, all stated by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, seems to have been lost in the shuffle. Well, what the hell, that's life.
So this is an interesting one to really study. It is clearly a hybrid of the old way. It's definitely not an issue of quantity that I question, more a middling quality, though a fine example of workmanship, nevertheless.

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