Alexis Mabille is a talented designer. Passionate about fashion, for him it’s the joy of living and above all, brings the greatest confidence in him!
Since 2010, this designer is a permanent member of the French Haute Couture. Alexis is one of the most famous designer of in this magical world…
the joy of living
Delicate, feminine, and romantic, his collections are a permanent invitation to the magic of day and night. The bow tie remains his favourite emblem. From the most impressive to the most detailled, his creativity is astonishing.
His workshop is a cocoon nestled in the heart of the Vivienne Galerie and it is there that his heart beats. Alexis Mabille tells Airs de Paris his deepest secrets.
What does «Fashion» mean to you?
For me, it is the expression of a passion! I have always been determined to work in this sector. The textile inspired me. Fashion has such a close «mirror» relationship with the human being. You understand this as soon as you work with the craftsmen. Fashion and their skills have blend into one. Enhancing and embellishing the human body is a constant challenge for me. I like to use volumes to make it «beautiful and comfortable»; I like to transform volumes, or paradoxically «stick to the skin». Thanks to my eyes and my hand, women dream of becoming sublime!
What do you think of the profession of stylist today?
When I was a child, I was already doing couture! I belonged to a family where my mother only sewed for pleasure. So, I started sewing, working with all fabrics. I used to go to a small decoration shop nearby and pick up samples… then I had fun. Like that, I started to make accessories for my friends, for dolls, for my teddy bear… This new world, very imaginary, full of poetry was in my head. I was always creating more and more, and I was surprised. As I loved to draw, I had the feeling that everything happened naturally. Until I realised that I would have to study.
I spoke to Christian Lacroix about it and exchanged letters with him. In a way we shared the same passion. I had the greatest admiration for him… One day, he said to me: «You must join the Chambre syndicale…». I listened to him, and I took a course at the Chambre syndicale. Then I worked for Manuel Garo , Nina Ricci and Dior… I had the most amazing experiences that every young couturier could wish for. Then I managed to set up my own clothing brand. It was unisex at first, then haute couture. What a journey!
Are there many difficulties in this profession of designer?
They are many but they are, in fact, «challenges», stages to pass… my «plus» is to be a relentless creative! All I must do is pick up a pencil and draw. My artistic ideas line up. What luck! But that’s never all, you must go further each time. Between the drawing and the garment, you must know how to make it credible, how to make it real. The pattern makers then take over.
A designer must know how to find the right techniques, the right fabric, a perfect lace, a button, a fine embroidery… I must have in mind a volume that is feasible. Often in the fashion shows, the clothes are very volumetric which means a lot of technical work in the material.
Knowing how to give the chosen fabric its letter of nobility is a real challenge for all designers! The body remains the fundamental basis, and when draping it, it must be respected. To conclude: the most chanllenging thing for us is to turn our ideas in mind into reality, to be faithful from the drawing to the body of a woman who will want to wear the garment.
Are there any difficult steps to take?
Some moments are difficult because you must work harder than you need to! The moment of the fashion shows is intense, no detail can be spared. I will never give up because these moments are strong and unforgettable. Each difficulty brings its own challenge. You always must start again!
What a wonderful joy of life in your work, we can feel it!
I don’t realise it so well. I always challenge myself and I like that. That’s my personality. I am «sunny», a «joyful» person, I like to give happiness to others. At the same time, I am obviously a very serious «loner». It seems to me that nowadays people are looking for freshness, beauty, fun. Fashion, especially couture, will always make people dream.
It will take us far into these imaginary worlds. Fashion will also be part of a feeling of well-being, of deep confidence. I like to present my collections in a setting that resembles me, a setting that corresponds to the needs of each and everyone. The colours, the movements, the richness of the materials, certain inlays, certain frivolities of transparency can be seen face to face… A bit like me all in all!
My job is a palpable moment, full of enchantment and surprises. My parades are a show full of emotion and pleasure. Whether the moment is serious or joyful, the creation remains full of emotions and memories of its own. My models know it: their outfits are matched to the hundredth of a millimetre. Pleasure and elegance are the order of the day!
Is the bow tie still your signature?
It’s true that in my first collections, I worked on the bow tie. It is an integral part of my universe. The rather mixed lines of my bow ties stood out. We tend to look at the bow tie as a masculine element… I knew how to make it feminine! In all my collections, they are represented in one way or another, whether it’s a dress, a jacket, a blouse….
In one of my latest collections, there is a large blue-night/chestnut coloured dress. It’s very light and breezy on the outside, but has intensely fluid structure on the inside which makes the dress looks like it rolls around the body. Its size is massive. It looks crazy! I love these mixtures of colours. It thrills me all the time. This dress is by far one of the most incredible works!
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