Goddesses are trending at the couture shows. Yesterday Donatella Versace conjured glam ones in crystals and acid hues of orange, green, and purple. Tonight, Alexis Mabille
tried to bring the goddesses of Greco-Roman statuary to life. If he didn't make as good a go of it as Lady D, first to blame are the paper butterflies that multiplied in the models' hair and occasionally alighted on their noses. Second are the shoulder-duster rhinestone earrings. Mabille needs to learn to simplify. The exemplary fit of his classically constructed gowns would make a bigger impact if it weren't mucked up by all the extras. We clocked several beauties in this show, from a pair of silk crepe columns draped from halter "necklaces," with the effortless appeal of a toga or a sarong, to a more rigorous bustier dress, lace appliqués decorating the hips. A body-limning Chantilly lace number stitched with crystals will go down as the most convincing case ever for his career-long obsession with bows.
But in other instances, Mabille's gowns were more showgirl than goddess. Where else but onstage would a floor-length sheath with a belly button-exposing teardrop-shaped cutout be called for? Likewise, there was something of the costume department in an exuberantly pleated "Mark Antony" coat worn with beaded tulle leggings. If the model hadn't been clutching it to her breast, she might have fallen backward from its weight. There'd be no ascending to the heavens in an outfit like that.