And we’re off. The Paris spring summer 2010 shows started early on Thursday morning with one of the brightest stars on the fashion scene. Alexis Mabille, famous for attaching bow ties to just about everything, showed his first ever stand-alone menswear collection after doing unisex shows since 2005. We were promised a collection mirroring his own personal style, and got a colourful and sparkling – yet wearable – ensemble for everyday use.
In Angelina, Coco Chanel’s favourite hot chocolate café, Mabille set out to make smart jeans and shirt/cardigan combos the new suits, while suggesting we wear silky tuxedo jackets to the office. It was soon clear that Mabille is one for mixing work with pleasure; he showed a collection (introduced and described by a conférencier) that catered for each and every moment in the day of a busy and “mischievous dandy”, be it morning meetings, hot lunch dates, cultural museum visits or a spot of dancing at the famous club Baron.
We saw his obligatory bow ties take a back seat for once, mainly appearing as an accessory rather than a centrepiece. Sometimes it was pinned to the neck, other outfits had it casually hanging loose from one shirt collar. Smaller bows, in metal, worked as belt buckles. Decorated Converse trainers featured throughout. The standout pieces included a floral silk robe, embroidered in gold and white, and a double-breasted, presented as a Dressed to Kill outfit. But the piece de la resistance was a silk evening tuxedo overall, crowned with rhinestone-jewelled buttons. Mabille calls his designs Bourgeois with a Twist, but Preppy Glamour will also work just fine. Dazed Digital managed to sit Alexis down for a chat after his show.
Dazed Digital: Did you choose Angelina as a show venue because of the Chanel heritage?
Alexis Mabille: Yes, but his is also where I showed my first collection, so it’s a bit like a come back. Plus I like it here because it’s so small, there is a family feeling in here. And everyone sits so close to the catwalk that you can see fabrics and details better.
DD: So you’ll come back again?
Alexis Mabille: This place is a bit like with your favourite cardigan – you wear it over and over again!
DD: Speaking of cardigans, there were quite a few of those in the show!
Alexis Mabille:Yeah, I like using basics that I have updated with a twist, like cardigans, white shirts and bow ties. And the pieces don’t always have to be perfect – sometimes they’re too slim or the sleeves are too short.
DD: You used to do only unisex clothes, are you still interested in that concept?
Alexis Mabille: Very much so. Most clothes you see here will be re-cut and altered to fit women as well. When I do women’s tailoring, I always fit them onmen first, because suits hang better on them.
DD: How did your obsession with bow ties start?
Alexis Mabille: A friend and me started making them as a joke and gave them our friends, and many of them are stylists and fashion editors, who used them for shoots. It took off really quickly so I started Treizeor, which is an accessory line devoted to bow ties.
DD: What ‘s your favourite piece from this collection?
Alexis Mabille: I really like the white deconstructed shirt with a fake tail. The tail is not part of the shirt, it continues down on the trousers.