Eine kleine Schleife ist die Signatur des französischen Designers Alexis Mabille, der unter Hedi Slimane und John Galliano bei Dior das Designen erlernte. Seit 2005 zeigt er nun mit seinem eigenen, gleichnamigen Label bei den Prêt-à-Porter und Haute Couture Schauen in Paris.
In Berlin traf ich nun den unheimlich charmanten Franzosen zum Interview, denn seine Schleifen zieren eine limitierte Linie für Cointreau. Für das Bar-Konzept Cointreau Privé kooperierte der Designer mit dem Likörhersteller und stellte auch seinen eigenen Drink vor.
Nächste Woche nun steht seine Spring/Summer 2013 Show auf der Paris Fashion Week an und da auch wir wieder in der französischen Hauptstadt sein werden, haben wir mit dem Designer über Glamour, die Cointreau-Kooperation und die besten Orte im Pariser Nachtleben gesprochen.
The Random Noise: Your signature sign is the bow. Why do you fall for it?
Alexis Mabille: When I was a child, I wore a lot of bow ties. And when I launched my first collection – an unisex collection – this accessoire with a history in fashion was a decorativ thing. It became a bow tie for the men and for the girls a strong feminine sign. In the 90’s, the mix of women and men became really famous, but in France bows were seen as old fashioned. At my first show, all the guys wore bows and a few months later, I did a bow tie collection for young cool boys in Paris. After that, the press got crazy about it. Even Karl Lagefeld and Mick Jagger ordered some – it became a super craziness. As a young designer, it’s nice to become visible and recognisable – like Chanel has the C’s and we have the bow. I didn’t invent it, but got it back.
Though, is it difficult for you to design always new collection with such a strong signiture?
Actually no. Sometimes I leave it a bit on the side, sometimes it’s coming back. We have a show every season, s0 we always use it in different ways. It could be a small accessoires, it could be a print – it’s more of a game than a restrictive.
Do you wear a bow ties yourself?
Of course, just last night I was wearing one! Or today, I have it printed on my shirt.
Your designs and especially the couture line is really glamorous. What is glamour for you?
Glamour is an attitude. A boy or a girl walking, an interaction with the clothes, the way you speak, to be confident with yourself. This is glamour form me, not just drama or a fancy dress. It’s a way of sexappel.
Do you live glamorous?
Sure, I make my life fun! Part of my family is in the wine business and of course, I love to go out and to hold dinners at my place with good drinks. I love to make life festive! And it’s part of my work, too. The dark drama is about festivity and happiness.
How did you get in touch with Cointreau?
In fact, they came to me. I knew them by my good friend Dita von Teese, she also joined the project and introduced me to it. We did the Cointreau Privé. It’s an amazing, secret space in Paris, which was kind of a bar, where you also could eat at the beginning and later, it became a nightclub. A great way to combine fashion, lifestyle and the exciting nightlife in a new, fun way.
And where else do you go out in Paris? Some tipps for us?
In Paris, it’s really specific. After work, the people have some drinks, go then to a nice dinner at a restaurant or a friends place – I do this a lot. And then to bars, where you can also dance. We don’t have so many big clubs, it’s more about small nice places. Like Montana, pretty known is Le Baron, then Chez Rasputin and lots of small nightlife bars, which are super dark. If you go there at 5 a.m. in the morning, there are still lots of people dancing to cool music. So a good night in Paris is at a lot of places.
Which district would you recommend?
There is a good place everywhere. Me, I love the 1st arrodissment, it’s good for reastaurants and activities. The 2nd and the 3rd are nice too, it’s more casual there. But some are boring, like the 15th and the 16th. The 18th and the 20th are moving a lot. Ten years ago, it was really dangerous, but now it’s the place to be. Go there!
And what’s your favourite drink?
I love champagne, and also with Cointreau, it’s really nice! And I made a cocktail with them for the Cointreau Privé: Strawberry with Cointreau, champagne and ice cubes. I created it with a bartender and voilá – my perfect drink!
Is there a dresscode in Paris?
Me, I’m always overdressed! It’s more secure! Normally, it’s casual, but mens are actually getting more dressed. It’s a big trend: the boys are wearing bow ties, cool jackets and nice shirts with jeans. Destroyed shoes, but the top is nice. And girls wear little dresses. But it depends on the areas in Paris. The best is if you wear something casual with something chic. And if you want to wear something over the top: just do it!
And be glamorous!
Oh yes! Sometimes I do bow tie dinners at my place, I cook by myself: my specialaty is chicken in pastry. Really glamorous!
Nightlife Tipps von Alexis Mabille:
28, Rue Saint-Benoît - 75006 Paris
6 Avenue Marceau – 75008 Paris
58 Rue Bassano – 75008 Paris
Fotos 2 & 3: Jakob Nawka