Alexis Mabille Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Is there such a thing as girly utilitarian? If not, then Alexis Mabille has found a way to make it a reality with his spring/summer 2014 show. An ode to the working woman, but not a modern working woman, rather those who filled the void in the factories when all the American manpower went off to fight World War II. Yes, it was Rosie the Riveter by way of Betty Grable, with a dash of Western sass thrown in for good measure.

Apparently it’s very hot in the industrial plant where these girls work, for quite a lot of the tops were unbuttoned down to the navel, or tank dresses were cut with sporty razorbacks, their scooping low arm holes making the sexy structured underwear very much outerwear. One look at the program notes explained that styling choice. The lingerie was courtesy of Von Follies, by Dita Von Teese, Mabille’s favorite muse.

But button up a few of those olive green silk jumpsuits, rodeo cowboy shirts with the lace inserts at the shoulders and stick a form fitting T-shirt under those low hanging dresses and Mabille was actually offering some viable wardrobe options.

But what was really unforeseen were all the covered up ensembles on display. A shimmering short trench jacket in neoprene could give one from Burberry a run for their money. While wide cut navy trousers, A-line shirt dresses, which let the fabric flow at the back (in both the long and short versions), and the wrap front skirts all had the look of longevity to them.

If only Mabille had steered clear of the distracting Western accents: the fringe cowboy boots, western belt buckle closures and some odd ruffle chaps-like cropped pants, this collection could have brought home a bit more bacon.