Alexis Mabille Walks the Walk with Zoe Kravitz
To most people it’s just another Monday in March. But for designers it’s the Monday after the Academy Awards, time to tally up after months of effort, intrigue, tantrums and crossed fingers, just who dressed whom and how they looked. I’m in Paris and there’s three more days until the end of fashion week here. I wasn’t in front of my television at 1:00 AM to watch the Oscars, but I did make it to work this morning–well, afternoon—and my inbox was full of announcements from everyone from Chanel down with pictures of ladies on the red carpet presented almost like fishing trophies. One shudders to imagine the poor souls sending those emails.
The one such email that struck me was Zoe Kravitz, rocker Lenny Kravitz’s daughter, in a dress by Alexis Mabille with one of his signature bow ties in old red velvet on a backless cream column. I visited Mabille in his showroom last Friday as he presented his new jewelry and shoe collections. He’s pretty much a one-man band who is advancing quickly on little more than talent, enthusiasm and an apparent ability to get by without the eight hours of unconsciousness normal people require each day. Until now Mabille has put on a fashion show for his women’s collection (he also does menswear) during Paris’s couture week. That’s to show his elegant touch, but also because young designers flock to the less crowded couture calendar so that big editors will see their shows. The fashion press is so spoiled!
Soon after Mabille launched his clothing collection (he’d already been doing accessories) in early 2008, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of the French President wore one of his dresses and Kiera Knightley did too. I’m not fond of celebrity tie-ins, but I have to admit, that’s how young designers are building their businesses today. Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow is considering a Mabille concoction to wear to the premiere of Iron Man II. I will keep my fingers crossed. Meanwhile, Mabille will be leaving his couture slot to show his collection during Paris’s ready to wear next season. Bravo!