Even if you couldn't be bothered to read the show notes, which enthusiastically explained that Alexis Mabille
was feeling the early-eighties vampire flick The Hunger
this season, the fact that the Bauhaus track "Bela Lugosi's Dead" was looping on the sound system would have clued you in to the designer's theme. Much of this show was like that: just a bit too on-the-nose. In particular, Mabille's approach to referencing eighties-era silhouettes and more-is-more styling was rather too literal to feel elevated; and studded, crocheted, and gold-tone looks likewise went at the glam-goth vibe with overmuch directness. You didn't get the sense that Mabille was adding anything very new to that conversation. Still, this collection did have its strengths. Mabille's tailoring—a couple of gray flannel looks accented with camel, for instance—could have formed the basis for a very strong show. The designer was also on to something with his blouson-sleeved shirting and his pieces in a multicolored leopard dévoré. Overall, though, there was too much going on here, and more problematically, Mabille's maximalism suffered from a lack of restraint. Even a big look demands design discipline—especially
a big look, in fact.