Now that Michelle Obama has come out so solidly in support of young American designers, it's only natural to wonder whether Paris has an on-the-rise talent of its own who could be taken up by France's First Lady. One such contender might be Alexis Mabille, a 30-year-old Lyon-born designer with a pedigree from YSL and Dior, who is now in his third season. He certainly made an ambitious leap forward today, sending out a huge collection of over 50 looks. Though some of that was menswear, and much of it could be discounted as unfocused juvenilia, he proved he's capable of moving beyond his status as the little guy who does cute things with bow-laden bags and shirts.
Despite a page-long, rambling press release, there wasn't much of an evident theme to hold the collection together, but there were plenty of head-turning moments. He picked up the Paris vibe for glitter with a glowing, deep-green panne velvet dress with fishnet sleeves, and a sparkly red jacket thrown over gold lamé knee-length shorts. He also proved himself as a tailor with skinny bird's-eye tweed pantsuits and chic Parisian pairings of a peacoat over a long dress, and a topcoat shrugged over wide-leg pants. The results were grown-up, but never stuffy. The image to take away was a beautiful look on Chanel Iman—a brown velvet circle skirt with layered blouses in mink-collared café-au-lait charmeuse and cream silk, one of Mabille's signature ties at the neck. It would look great at lunch at the Élysée Palace, if anyone's watching.