I’m sorry, but I’ll have to see your ID before I can tell you about this collection.

Sure, this is Alexis Mabille so we expected sexy. We expected plunging necklines, short skirts, and an abundant use of sateen. None of that surprised anyone at all.

What we didn’t expect was sheer, and not just in select panels, but entire looks that were totally transparent. Fortunately, Alexis also includes some very shiny metallic undies so one is, depending upon the locale and the situation, perhaps a little less likely to get arrested. This collection doesn’t just flirt with naughty, it embraces it boldly and then takes it out partying.

From the outset, one has to question whether this is ready-to-wear or lingerie. The first look is a tiny little silk dress with a broad and plunging neckline … and a hood. Second look, a tuxedo-styled shorts jumper in silk. Third look, white linen dress with that broad, plunging neckline again and, of course, it’s super short. The hood is back on a white trench, and then on a white jumper. There are a lot of little hoods in this collection. While none of them are red, one might still need to beware of wolves.

None of the silhouettes in this collection are terribly unusual or different. There are actually a couple of little suits with white shirts that are totally respectable and can be worn out in public just like one would with any other garment from just about any other collection. It’s not that Alexis doesn’t know how to make practical clothing with a sensual edge. He’s done that often and with great success. This season, though, he goes way over that line to the point I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised had a model just made the walk naked.

What is difficult to get past is the feeling that much of this collection was made for the bedroom. Even when he does send a lovely satin dress down the runway, one has to work hard to mentally separate that from the more lingerie styles on either side. When Alexis does actual day wear, it is very nice, very attractive, and very well tailored. In those slightly safer moments, the cuts are not too tight, the skirts are not too short, and the necklines are not too daring. A couple of the looks are even a little sporty and fun.

Then, one looks up and sees a glittery pair of undies coming at them. This collection is so not ready for prime time.

Are we actually afraid of sexy? No, not the least bit. We’re not terribly put off by the bare breasts and I heard more than one male voice whisper, “Viva la France!” during the presentation. Absolutely no one is complaining about this Alexis Mabille collection. Just know that there are not a lot of looks here one can wear around other people’s children. And if your children are as sarcastic as mine, best prepare for some snarky comments about the hoods, too.

Viva la France.

Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier

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