"There are strange evenings when flowers have a soul," wrote Symbolist poet Albert Samain, and tonight was one such night as Alexis Mabille set in motion a posy of sinuous silhouettes. Consider it a celebratory bouquet as this year marks the tenth anniversary of the couture house.
In all fairness, the couturier's sharp tailoring and deftness with draping expressed themselves with fewer distractions. Just the way a siren dress peeled back at the bodice, revealing a bustier top and making the model into a strangely attractive calla lily, was a testament to that. Hair trimmed with marabou feathers, in a luxed-up dip dye, shimmered at every step. There was a point when the flowers became symbolic rather than representative blotches of ink, embroidered on the inside of a cape or occupying the rib cage of a lace dress. Large swathes of space were occupied, in reality or visually, by these amplified silhouettes, especially that final bow dress. Impossible to be a wallflower in any of these. There was hardly an outfit that didn't belong in Old Hollywood, from the dark sequined mermaid dress to the red ball gown. It wasn't hard to picture longtime faithful Dita Von Teese donning the silk kimono printed with poppies, for a boudoir moment.
Saturated hues made for larger-than-life presence that transcended the backward glance nature of these classically artful gowns. Color has long been Mabille's therapy against time. Vivid colors such as these can only be seen fresh, like his blooms. But like them, they too could feel artificial in their unwavering glory.