Beyond the Pale

Couture, Dahling!
July 8, 2010, 12:29 am
Filed under: Catwalk, Couture, Decadence, Etsy, Fall, Fashion, Fashion Show, Runway, tulle | Tags: , ,

As we air-kiss and clink champagne glasses, let’s trip along merrily into the frivolously feminine, exquisitely detailed world of Alexis Mabille‘s Fall 2010 Couture Collection…

Ruffles and sparkles and lace, oh my!

I am an absolute sucker for a bit of tulle, my dear hearts, and this dress is pretty close to utter perfection!

The collection is very mix-and-match, as this stunning bustier top and tailored ‘cigarette’ trousers show. Stunning.

Also, I love those shoes!

I suppose there *is* such a thing as “too many ruffles” but this IS couture, dearie, so must be allowed some leeway. Be sure it will filter down into more every-day wearable styles on the high street, but oh how DREARY it would be if designers couldn’t run free with their ideas.

I never understand people who complain that catwalk shows (and Couture in particular) don’t offer anything for them to wear on a day-to-day basis. The entire point is to show the designer at work, the creative process from inspiration to actuality: a creative fantasy.

Mabille’s collection is actually highly wearable, I think. Yes, perhaps only if you are forever parading on red carpets or popping to parties thrown by Elton John; but, y’know, he didn’t design them to be worn at the supermarket I suppose. And thank GAWD for that. There is already an overdose of the dull & drear in fashion, so long live the libertines!

Inspired by this lust-worthy collection – a kind of Grace Kelly meets Scarlet O’Hara at the Oscars kind of a vibe – and especially by the mainly nude/black palette (with lashings of lace), I created a treasury of items at Etsy I felt fit a similar bill, though obviously far more affordable to the majority of us.

I have Couture tastes and a bargain budget, how awful for me. ;p

Do have fun exploring, dahlings! *air kisses wildly whilst spilling champagne down her dressing gown Couture dress*

"Ode 2 Steampunk" corset by La Belle Fairy: $299

La Belle Fairy’s overbust Victorian corset is just beautiful – such subtle colours and actually pretty, which isn’t something you always see in corsets. I think you could wear this for a wedding – especially when teamed with one of the spectacular skirts below…

Made to Order Bridal Skirt by Bonzie: $750

I have featured Bonzie‘s signature bridal skirt once before, I know, but just HAD to include it again: it so encapsulates this look and new readers may have missed it, previously. So there. ;p Thousands of layers of hand-sewn tulle and many hours of work go into this breathtaking piece (which also comes in other colours) – it makes me want to run through fields of poppies in it, screaming with laughter and tossing my hair about as though I were in a shampoo advert. Just because.

Peach chiffon blossom brooch/hair pin by Percy Handmade: $32

Of course we can’t go around trampling fields of poppies all the time, can we? No. For one thing, it’d be murder on the ankles. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that the airy, care-free look can be still be had in an accessory – and one as beautiful as this peach chiffon bloom, by the very talented Percy Handmade, can be either a brooch or hair pin/clip depending on your preference. I’d plump for a brooch, I think, as it could add some frivolity to a severe lapel, be pinned to an existing hair band or hat for a wedding-y look and then used to jazz up a tired looking old bag.

[Any jokes about it jazzing up the tired looking old bag writing this shall be removed at the discretion of the editor. ;p]

Custom Made Olga Coat by Red Doll: $395

Red Doll is also a designer I have featured before, but this coat is so exquisitely tailored, again, I just had to include it. I love the mixture of superb, masculine-inspired tailoring in Alexis Mabille’s collection, paired with the tulle, lace and ruffles – and this coat would definitely work with that look.

Tabitha Clutch by Emma Gordon, London: $65

Emma Gordon’s bags are to die for – perfect for bridesmaids and weddings, but this sleekly simple, effortlessly chic bag is one of favourites. Love the bangle/handle – I cannot do clutches unless they can somehow attach to me, which sort of does away with their point, I know, but I am forgetful, clumsy and somewhat scatterbrained at the best of times, let alone when attending a ‘do’ and with a few glasses of champagne in me. This one’s just perfect.

Peach silk chiffon shawl blouse by The Eliza Shop: $98

Ooh this is so pretty! I think it looks as though it stepped straight from the pages of Vogue. Fab with tailored evening trousers (or a pair of jeans & killer heels, if you go for that look for a night on the tiles) or a simple pencil skirt. The Eliza Shop also has some unusual headbands and other items. One to watch!

Boyfriend blazer/tuxedo by Daniellea Tello: $75

The trouble with ‘boyfriend blazers’ is that they are very rarely cut for a woman’s curves, even if actually made for them! Not so this excellent example by Daniella Tello – it looks like it would go with just everything, never date and be a truly great buy. Want!

4 Greetings Cards by Hey Old Friend: $10

Adorably simple black and white greetings cards by Hey Old Friend – just right for inviting friends to a glam tea party, I think.

Flowers and Lace Bib Necklace by Barretty: $45

Wonderful use of colors in this handmade flowers and lace bib necklace by Barretty – strikingly gorgeous and so in keeping with this theme!

Black organdy bow shoe clips by Floreti: $34

These organdy shoe clips by Floreti are such a great idea – take a boring old pair of shoes and snap these on: hey presto, a couture pair of shoes! Also a great idea to stash them in your bag if you’re going straight out after work.

Silk Bow Bolero by Holly Bloom Couture: $75

Holly Bloom Couture have a number of simply darling pieces, but this silk dupioni bow bolero is the one I chose for this look – it’s simple enough that it wouldn’t dominate whatever you wore it over, but has enough presence to be part of the outfit, rather than that “I am covering my shoulders and tops of arms a bit, please look away!” character that many boleros can have.

Vintage Merry Widow Lace & Satin Corset at Absolutely Riveting: $17

This vintage ‘Merry Widow’ corset at Absolutely Riveting is very similar to the Alexis Mabille Couture style, and a mere snip at $17 if it happens to be your size! Wear with tailored cigarette trousers, underneath a tux or over a pencil skirt for the same achingly chic but very sexy look.

Vintage Black Lace 'bodycon' dress at Holy Mess: $40

Sexy but still covered-up, this black lace dress at Holy Mess is very reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, or some other vintage starlet, all wiggle and lipgloss. I’m sure Dita Von Tease would look divine in such a dress.

Hand Dyed Tea Length Tulle Skirt by Ouma: $260

I have long been a fan of Ouma‘s breathtakingly romantic designs, and this hand dyed tea length tulle skirt is just dreamy. It truly gladdens the heart, just gazing at the picture. 🙂 Oh for a weekend in Paris, twirling through the streets in this, a cashmere cardi and some jaw-droppingly wonderous shoes. I know, I know, the shoes would pinch and it would probably rain, but we can dream! Lord, I want them ALL in every colour. Dear Santa…[it’s early, I know, but y’have to get your requests in, gals and boys, or he ignores you when it’s too busy].

Chantilly Lace Tape by Prank & Dorset: $15.50

How stunning, and what a great idea for Santa to use to pretty-up the many, many parcels he’ll likely be wrapping for me! This tape is available from Prank & Dorset in white, too, and can be used on cards or any other paper-crafty ideas you clever people may have.

Margeilas High Waisted Trousers by And What Else Is There: $45

These high-waisted trousers by And What Else Is There are exactly the kind I’ve been thinking of with many of the looks I have featured here – they would look fantastic with the Tuxedo ‘boyfriend’ blazer, either of the corsets or the peach chiffon shawl top… even a simple t-shirt or tank top. Completely versatile and another absolute steal: custom made trousers for $45!

Well, there we must leave it, I suppose. I do hope you have enjoyed this toe-dip into the world of (vastly more affordable) Couture alternatives, dear hearts?

Until next time (and not so long a wait, I promise),

Miss Nightingale



2 Comments so far
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hey thank you so much for featuring our pants! your obsession du jour towards anything couture is so elegant. we really appreciate your words here. keep up the good post!




Your selection is truly inspiring. I absolutely LOVE your style. I have been dreaming of owning the olga coat myself 🙂 Thank you for including my skirt amongst such lovely company.

Comment by Monique

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