Alexis Mabille: blooming flowers in vibrant hues
A winter garden was French couturier Alexis Mabille’s proposition for autumn/ winter 2021/ 2022. The couture collection, “Femme-Fleur,” saw Mabille transform his models into real-life, voluminous flowers with vibrant colours and designs where silk Casimir unfurls into giant roses and exuberant tulle skirts create realistic petals in motion.
“The idea was to turn the woman into a flower or for the flower to become a part of the woman’s body by integrating it into the designs,” Mabille told FashionNetwork.com during his presentation held in a bright space within Galerie Vivienne, a cultural hub in Paris’ central second arrondissement. “For this collection, I worked a lot with volume to create an effect like a woman in bloom, with dresses like petals and movements reminiscent of the form of petals around the centre of a flower.”
As the models strode out to open the designer’s personal garden, first was a mini dress in white silk Casimir which represented a bouquet of tulips. This was followed by a shirt in the same hue which saw its minimalist design broken up by its striking transparent sleeves housing within them copious sequins and embroidered flowers. The silhouette was completed by a reserved, slim maxi skirt in black crepe.
The collection also saw roses atop of a sequinned jumpsuit or mounted on a lurex tuxedo with satin details. The flowers were brought to life as oversized headdresses, shaped like buds about to bloom. Another notable look was a red carpet-worthy strapless dress in yellow satin that resembled the petals of a daffodil and also featured embroidery in the shape of a garden trellis.
“I worked with the concept of fulfilment and of renewal, which we all so badly need at the moment,” said Mabille, sharing his desire for his artistic creations to reflect the current context in an eternally elegant and subtle way. This optimistic stance was firmly reflected in the collection’s colour palette with looks rendered in varying nuanced shades of green and yellow as well as turquoise, pink, deep scarlet red, and a unique bluish purple colour. All of these vibrant colours are reminiscent of intensely coloured bouquets of flowers put together with uniques tones. “It is very strongly coloured for a winter collection, as if it were a winter garden, which is indeed the season in which the most beautiful flowers bloom,” said Mabille.
The brand’s architectural constructions are also highlighted in this collection with a trio of voluptuous layers of tulle in gradient colours. The idea is to create clothing that can be easily put together and mixed and matched with other pieces from the collection. The imposing capes can also be worn as skirts on top of the various tight-fitting sequinned body suits which are reminiscent of one of the crystal designs which has not featured in an official collection but was created for singer and loyal customer of the brand, Katy Perry.
“In a way, the real customers kept buying because they are people who buy for the joy of collecting these pieces, as if they were paintings, and for the joy if the process of couture,” said Mabille about the challenging circumstances in the lead-up to the launch of this floral collection.
“These collector-customers have not stopped,” he said on how business has evolved in the absence of the usual rhythm of events and red carpets over the past year. "Customers who by from time to time for events or weddings have somewhat slowed down their consumption," Mabille acknowledged. "However, the effect of this has not been catastrophic, thanks to the fact that not all countries were affected by the pandemic and its restrictions at the same rate.”
Mabille has provided his own remedy for all of this: a floral explosion.
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