January 19, 2011 Paris
In seasons past, Mabille has shown menswear so replete with feminine totems and icons—especially the bows with which he festoons both his men's and his women's collections—that it often felt scarcely like menswear at all. The rough-and-tumble Scotch brought out a slightly more masculine side of him; maybe that's what he meant when he opened the show with the assertive "Choose Life" monologue from Trainspotting on the soundtrack.
Even so, cuteness persisted. The dominant pant was a skinny jean that laced all the way up the leg like a corset. Wouldn't try to sausage Begbie into a pair of those. Forget about gilted brocade pants and tulle tees sequined with Mabille-ified whiskey logos. Fabric play led the designer down some potentially interesting avenues, like a loden overcoat that drew its peculiar sheen from a mixture of velvet and neoprene. But overall, the collection's reliance on whimsy threatened to stifle it.