Macadam Summer is the title Alexis Mabille gave his new collection. Backstage he said he was thinking about "a girl who stays in the city and doesn't care about the countryside." His trick was to create urban clothes using elements more typically associated with a vacation by the sea. Brigitte Bardot's famous Vichy print—gingham to you and me—appeared on boxy jackets, button-down shirts, and miniskirts. Another way the designer conveyed his idea was to pair a sweet white sundress edged in lace with chunky black motorcycle boots.

Mabille isn't going to win any prizes this season for high concept, and the show could've done with a stiff edit. First to go should've been those tiered ball skirt and T-shirt looks—city or country, they don't work for daytime. Still, this was his most charming collection in a while, more youthful in spirit than Fall and stocked with more sellable merchandise. Mabille is celebrating a new store on the Left Bank's Rue de Grenelle tomorrow night, and we're betting that it's the retail space that's the root of his newfound savvy. Top in our book was a little black cocktail dress suspended from the neck with one of his signature satin bows.