From elbow length gloves to metallic outerwear; black on black (on black on black on black) to awkward puffy blue fur (sorry Gustavo), this collection was certainly a thought-provoking one with both strong and weak aspects. While I most certainly enjoyed the fabric choices, I felt that there was a lack of "wow-factor," despite significant technical proficiency on the designer's part. The color scheme was a little confusing (lime green to gold to black, and then every color in between?), but it was clean-cut and well put-together nonetheless. Favorites have to be the assymmetrical neckline dresses pictured with gloves, as well as all the black ensembles - call me a sucker for black, but seriously, those pieces were SO well done.
Black is one of the most challenging colors to work with, simply because it leaves such a huge margin for criticism. It's a color that can be outstandingly effective when utilized in appropriate doses, but when a couturier starts OD'ing on it, critics go wild with insults. I have something of a sympathy when it comes to black though; I think it's an elegant understatement which can be emphasized or amplified with the use of things like metallic accents and tailoring, both of which Gustavo has fulfilled to great excess. There's nothing more chic than a LBD with a gold cuff, so the statement necklaces which punctuate an otherwise "flat" ensemble bring up the "chic" factor by a couple notches. The swishy dress with a daring neckline (second from right) was another simplistic beauty, and the general mash-up of fabrics was executed brilliantly.
To be perfectly honest, the infusion of bright blue fur/terrycloth accents (as pictured above) into an otherwise refined collection was a huge disappointment and deterrent to the success of the runway presentation. I loved everything else Gustavo showed, but this just didn't make the cut. It was far too avant-garde for a subdued, chic collection, and the texture screamed "blanket" more than "haute couture" to me.
I couldn't help myself - I simply had to group these pieces together to achieve a somewhat Christmassy color scheme! Although I don't particularly agree on the erratic black splotches (second to the left), the leather lining (left) looked SO classy, as did the "cut and paste" nature of the dress furthest to the right. I've always been skeptical about dresses made entirely of leather (the only person I know who can always pull off leather is Rumi Neely), but the daring slit and v-neck (second from right) made the dress a no-brainer of a winner. On a side note, how beautiful is the model on the extreme left?! She's such a stunner.
Probably one of the strongest points of the collection, the seamless intertwining of - yes, male models into the presentation. There's nothing more refreshing than seeing a slick-haired beau march down the catwalk after dozens of gaunt females have strutted their stuff (after a while they all begin to look the same, not gonna lie). Gustavo kept the menswear to a tight-lipped minimum, with lusciously dark hues and masculine proportions. While the shredded leather look (furthest to the right) doesn't quite hit the spot, the slouchy cape look (second to the right) definitely does.
Ornate, embellished and absolutely breathtaking - I don't really know how else to translate the beauty of Mabille's collection into words without sounding like I'm having an affair with one of his dresses. But seriously, this man is an artistic, conceptual genius. There is something so pure about his work, something so cohesive and secure about the way he put this collection together. There's an undoubted sense of flow, yet each magnificent ensemble retains a glittering uniqueness unlike any other piece in the collection. Decorated generously with jewels - be it on headpieces or trimmings, the sheer radiance of the designs set the runway alight with the flame of fantasy as Mabille shared with us his escapades into the realm of the surreal.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about this collection is Mabille's fluency at honing all aspects of the female form. Androgyny has taken the world by storm in the last few years, and it's so rare to see a collection so abundantly filled with girly silhouettes and delicate structural choices. Mabille didn't do anything to dilute his authentic flavor with a dose of masculinity - he chose v-necks over boxy shoulders, and pieces that emphasized the bust and waist in true female fashion. Masculinity has been terribly overused and abused in the female fashion sector, that it came almost as a shock to see clothing that wholeheartedly embraces a woman's form. From sweeping lace to dramatic tails, simply looking at these stunning ensembles makes me feel so in touch with my feminine side. These clothes aren't provocative, edgy or attempting to make some sort of revolutionary statement, yet they still retain a fierce quality worthy of a double-take.
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