2011 January 24

Paris Haute Couture Spring 2011: Alexis Mabille, Dior

John Galliano John Galliano
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(PARIS) Alexis Mabille
“It’s not really a classic inspiration, but a search in volume inside a woman’s wardrobe,” said Alexis Mabille after his presentation this morning at the Musée Bourdelle. “The idea was to show the cut of the garments by the purity of the color white, like an architect’s model, or a piece of plaster for a sculptor. Or like a mirror showing another side of the collection, with a game on colors, materials, and the ornamental details that create a new silhouette from the same clothes.” An inspiration that proved to be a natural progression from Mabille’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection, which embraced a more mix-and-match attitude. This season, he presented twenty complete looks, but instead of interchanging pieces, the clothes invited the wearer to mastermind her own interpretation. A floor-grazing gown in moss crêpe transformed into a beautiful capes, while dramatic evening dress coats were tossed aside in favor of short organza tunic dresses. Feminine tuxedos and beaded capri pants embodied l'esprit Parisienne, a style Mabille aims to dominate. The front row of dedicated couture clients appeared impressed with his deft hand, flawless draping, intricate embroidery, and overall investment in the collection. “I just wanted to show that with creation and imagination any interpretation is possible," he concluded. Indeed.

At this afternoon’s presentation at the romantic Musée Rodin, Patrick Demarchelier sat next to Alexandra Golovanoff, who sat next to Mario Testino, who took time to chat with Stella Tennant before sitting next to Emmanuelle Alt. Farida Khelfa sat across from Azzedine Alaïa (getting film for her current documentary on the diminutive designer?) who sat between Camille Miceli and Franca Sozzani. Down the row? Marisa Berensen and model Audrey Marnay, with Anna Wintour and the US press on the opposite site, and the Arnault family out in force down the row. But the real spectacle consisted of John Galliano’s René Gruau-inspired clothing, a continuing thread from last season’s jardin themed collection that many of you may have already thought looked very “René Gruau.” In a collection comprised solely of magnificent skirts and highly decorative ball gowns and dresses, the lines were illustrative and effortlessly refined. Dresses were almost cast like delicious pastries, using tulles and silks in colors of soft greys and blues, flesh and more pastels. “An unreal moment, in reality," summed up Berenson. The designer, it seems, had lost his voice.