In Singapore for Fashion Week 2013, French fashion designer Alexis Mabille showed a haute couture collection inspired by Giovanni Boldini’s paintings of women during the Belle Époque
The Italian artist Giovanni Boldini painted portraitures of wealthy, illustrious women in their gorgeous gowns during the Belle Époque (beautiful age) of Europe. Over a hundred years later, the painter’s oeuvre inspires fashion designer Alexis Mabille to celebrate such feminine beauty; by dressing more of the well-heeled of our time in Mabille’s Boldini-inspired collection.
Seen at French couture night of Fashion Week 2013 in Singapore, the Alexis Mabille Autumn Winter 2013 haute couture collection showed a romantic and distinctly feminine vision with figure-hugging, wearable slinky numbers enhanced by plenty of tulle, ruffles, bows and lace.
Models emerged out of the dark, with trailing leaves and flowers painted onto their slicked-back hair, looking every bit ethereal in these couture creations
Each look was named after the women in Giovanni Boldini’s paintings, with gowns inspired by Boldini’s lively portraits of vivacious women like the glamorous French dancer Cléo de Mérode.
But unlike Boldini’s era where voluminous ball gowns were the most popular evening-wear of choice, Alexis Mabille skips out on the impossible-to-walk-in heavy skirts for his couture dresses this season.
Instead, Alexis Mabille imagines dressing these women in the evening-wear of this century; these dresses would allow them to move about freely and gracefully, while still embracing their love for dramatic details.
The Alexis Mabille woman would thus wear high-waisted, silky radzimir pants but not without a bow at the waist and a matching flower-appliqued jacket or a beaded bolero. Her lightweight clothing of organza, satin and silk add to her ease of movement, while the cape-like sleeves up the dramatic impact of her evening dress.
Selected Alexis Mabille Spring Summer 2013 couture dresses were also shown at the Singapore runway presentation, also bearing Mabille’s signature bows. Surprisingly, the finale dress shown (seen on the right below) was a much more restrained, double-breasted black belted dress, free of the usual frills and bows; long-time Alexis Mabille fan Dita Von Teese was seen wearing it earlier this year.
Certified in December 2012 as a “grand couturier”, a much sought-after title by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Alexis Mabille has since shown very wearable, cohesive haute couture collections for 2013.
While we wished we could have seen the more showstopping pieces — like the large, flouncy “Miss Bell” robe from his Autumn Winter 2013 couture collection — these “walkable”, lady-like Alexis Mabille frocks are sure to win more fans with his continued celebration of all things feminine and elegant.
The Alexis Mabille haute couture show took place on October 17, 2013, at the Singapore Fashion Week 2013. For more information on Fashion Week 2013 and schedule of shows, go to
www.fidefashionweeks.com. You can get your tickets at entertainment.marinabaysands.com/fashion-week-2013.