Through the Eyes of Alexis Mabille

January 24, 2023

The eye, reimagining  

The living room remains unadorned, and Alexis Mabille’s first move is to close the gold curtains “to avoid seeing people walking by in all directions.” Glissando of light, here we stand in a cashmere-lined cocoon. The eyes? His cat’s, named Papillon, or “Butterfly.” He sees summer in a “rainbow of vibrations, almost yellow greens, coral pinks, between the frank colours, buttercup, deep blue…”

Matte and shiny textures, and above all “a desire to purify, to stay within a framework, which also reflects my obsessions. In short, it’s the anti-gimmick.” He goes on: “Haute couture is all about details and finishing touches that create emotions. I draw compulsively and then the story creates itself…”

 Alexis Mabille says he has “a photographic eye.” He hates tearing out pages, preferring to “turn” them. He says that his family, based in Lyon, was “the school of the eye.” A tireless shopper, he creates furniture, designs restaurant sets (for the Maison de la Truffe in Carmona) and will soon be starting a new project: the famous Lido, on the Champs Élysées, “the Parisian Broadway.” When this 2,000 m2 building site opens in November, it will be “drawing the curve of a wall, imagining a hooded cloak that becomes a sleeve, like a sculpture. The only thing that changes are the materials,” says Mabille. 

The key to creating a universe is to tell a story by playing with light and shadow. At the end of the day, Mabille opens the curtains. Thirty or so models have quietly arrived for the casting. A silent swarm of activity; the magic of a suspended tableau vivant.

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