Alexis Mabille: Daisy Head
MABILLE AND HIS FUR MUSE, PIN-UP
PHOTOGRAPHY BY YANNICK AELLEN
An early summer night’s rendezvous chez Alexis Mabille is about the best way I can think of to start off Paris’s Spring 2011 Men’s Fashion Week. 48 hours before his Thursday 10:30 AM show time, in his airy Paris atelier apartment, down the street from the legendary Eglise Saint Roch, Mabille was in the middle of his final fittings. An aassistant perched by his side was busy hand stitching flat white stones on bracelets, and Swiss casting director Yannick Aellen (who casts for Ohne Titel, among others) poured over all the images taken of the sun-kissed young men for this dreamy show.
Looking at a wall of snaps of long-haired guys with daisy strewn hair by Odile Gilbert, I asked Mabille if he was feeling romantic. His response? “Oh non, it’s dreamy, but these guys aren’t that sweet, they’re ready for mischief, a roll in the hay, or other things.”
The collection—each element in a plastic bag on rolling racks running down a long, narrow hallway—is entirely of a piece. Mabille has had one idea for spring, and he’s run with it. The fabrics, from linen mesh to pearlized Lycra, range from flesh to pale gold, inspired by the stripes of his cat Pin-Up. There’s lots of wrinkled shirting, and he’s turned ponchos into shirts. There are combi-shorts for men, and daisies are running throughout. Mabille’s version is a mini-fleur in crochet he discovered in his grandmother’s attic four years ago: “I found it and have always thought: ‘someday I’m going to do something with that.'” The blooms pop up on strings of natural wood rosary beads to twist around the wrist. The shoe is a thin strap gladiator with ties to twist around trouser cuffs.
The news from Mabille is that Opening Ceremony is stocking the collection beginning this fall, which should make those US aficionados who have been special ordering from Paris very happy. “This collection is softer, “says Mabille looking over his jogging pants with acorn pulls and easy tanks. “Everything adjusts, even the perfecto tux, to wear any way you want.”