Fashion shows are occasionally obscure in their reasoning and impenetrable in their semiotics, but give Alexis Mabille credit: The opening tableau of his Spring show told you everything you needed to know. Four models in rolled white cargo pants, espadrilles, and printed tees stood side by side.
The first’s top read “ALEXIS M’HABILLE” (that’s “Alexis dresses me,” the verb pronounced just like his surname). The second: “ALEXIS ME DESHABILLE” (“Alexis undresses me”). And with that, the models whipped off shirts and dropped trou. Voila: Mabille’s new underwear collection, created in collaboration with the skivvies label Hom.
Briefs are big business (just ask Calvin), so hard to blame Mabille for branching out. Backstage, he noted that their entry-level price point would open up his brand to an entirely new clientele. He mentioned that with his clothes—interior and exterior—he’s always been interested in the inner workings and structures as much as the outer shows. “I wanted to go inside,” he said.
The collection’s nominal theme was bain de soleil—”sunbath”—which accounts a bit for the disrobing (in some cases, shedding actual robes). Summer by the sea called for swimwear in addition to underwear; lightweight suiting pieces, a few with a brocade chain pattern snaking up the legs and around the waists; and numerous twists and turns on marinièrestripes, from those peeking out from the lapels of a gray jersey peacoat to others adorning a cotton-knit poncho.