"What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine." That Susan Sontag quote provided Alexis Mabille
with a starting point for his new Haute Couture collection. Mabille's general idea was to incorporate some element of a man's wardrobe into each of the outfits. Nothing groundbreaking as far as concepts go, but it did produce one of the designer's most restrained and accomplished offerings in some time. First out was a "tuxedo" consisting of a double-breasted jacket and long, narrow skirt, the wool on both pieces fused with lace to create a tempting bit of peekaboo at the waist. Elsewhere, the neckline of a black lace gown was accented with lapels, and a white bib-front shirt was extended into a dress. As a rule, the more masculine the look, the more compelling it was. A frilly dress embroidered with naive parrots on a vine lost the plot. But an emerald green strapless number, the torso of which was built like a jacket with lapels peeled back to reveal the creamy satin corset underneath? We'd bet Mabille's star client Dita Von Teese already has that one on hold. It put proof to the Sontag maxim, and then some.