January 23, 2011 Paris
Mabille cut one dress from squares of white lace, then duplicated it in the same lace prettily hand-painted in the colors of Sèvres porcelain. The effect had some psychological impact—dark versus light—when an asymmetric, one-shouldered gown in two tones of green with a pink rose garland reappeared in white, the flowers now camellialike. The conceit got tired soon enough, but it did allow plenty of time to reflect on the fragile detail of the designer's work. It had its own quiet drama, too, in final outfits wrapped in huge duchesse satin overskirts that untied to become capes. It was the kind of racy transformation you imagine France's First Lady, a Mabille fan, would be happy to make.