Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2024 Seduces the Playful Femme Fatale In A Champagne Spectacle

June 28, 2024

Text by Jesse Scott
Imagery courtesy of Patricia Buren and Kotaro Iizuka

An exuberant celebration of champagne, champagne, and more champagne, Alexis Mabille’s Fall 2024 Couture event was no ordinary fashion show. From guest arrivals, when fashion’s best and brightest were poured Pommery at plush banquettes, to the grand finale, during which Dita Von Teese performed in a champagne bubble bath, Mabille threw an extravaganza of uninhibited joie de vivre.  

Yet amidst the fountain, the sparkle, and the voice of Amanda Lepore crooning “I drink champagne in the morning, I drink champagne in the afternoon,” it was the clothes that took center stage. Designed for a contemporary femme fatale who unapologetically pursues happiness, dare we say following in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe or Paris Hilton, the collection proposed dresses in a dazzling array of vivid colors and sumptuous fabrics, each with its own unique vivacity. Glamour and fun have always been integral to Mabille’s DNA, but this collection felt even more effervescent than usual.

Sensuous Materials, Shapes Define Collection

The collection was presented amongst the rows of the Lido theater, recently redesigned by Mabille. The first model to gracefully weave through the labyrinthine runway wore a blouse-bustier in glittering white organza and a flowing satin dress. The organza gracefully opened around the model’s bodice like a seashell, recalling a goddess emerging from the ocean in Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” or alternately Von Teese emerging from a champagne coupe at the end of the show!  Sensual forms such as this were a recurring theme.

A dress in emerald crepe seduced with its dramatic leaf sleeves, while a broad satin neckpiece combined with a slinky velvet dress inverted this shape to spectacular effect. One of the more memorable looks was a deadly red satin crepe dress with a massive draped bow, imposing while unmistakably feminine. Rich hues, such as midnight blue, deep mauve, and royal violet, radiated luxury. Meanwhile, Mabille demonstrated his creativity and versatility by masterfully using such diverse materials as jersey, velvet, brocade, lamé, and even wool as his canvas.

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Transcending Time Periods

Champagne has a timeless appeal, and Mabille effortlessly encapsulated its symbolism with this show. He transcended time periods with ease. Von Teese’s burlesque performance recalled the golden age of Hollywood and Gatsby-style decadence. It was the type of scene commonplace at the time Coco Chanel famously said: “I only drink champagne on two occasions: when I am in love and when I am not.” Mabille also traveled to the mythical Montmartre cabarets of the late 1800’s, a mischievous black cat motif tracing down the side of one dress in a way that recalled the famous “Chat Noir” salon and the many artworks depicting the same. Yet he did it all with a distinctly contemporary and at times even futuristic sensibility. Asymmetrical pieces saw shoulder and stomach bared but neck concealed. Meanwhile, a metallic dress in dark chrome, complete with a billowing cape and a high collar, could have descended straight from a spaceship. 

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Champagne Showman Remains Detail-Oriented 

Behind the bubbles was a meticulous yet flirtatious attention to detail. One model carried a champagne coupe as handbags, a perfect way to add extra sparkle and emphasize the collection’s mischievous nature. One technically strapless dress contained long ribbons zig-zagging down the model’s arms, recalling ballet shoes. Other details were more bold, such as rigid black pheasant feathers extending from a dress like wings, or the gigantic black headdress, anchored by a panther head seemingly poised to devour the model, that followed a few looks later. 

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An Infectious and Uplifting Collection

Mabille compared the collection to a champagne bubble, telling guests it was made for a woman who is “playful, delicate yet fatal, dazzling and effervescent.” He meant to inspire both passion and light-hearted joy, and he resoundingly succeeded. Guests gasped, laughed, and cheered throughout the masterfully choreographed show, among them Yulia German, Elena Kruchenska, Ellen von Unwerth, and Fredrik Robertsson. Emerging from the Lido to return to a chaotic couture week schedule, one couldn’t help but agree with Scott F. Fitzgerald: “too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right.” Mabille struck the perfect chords.