Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration

Alexis Mabille, Between
Fashion and Decoration

It is a pleasure and a huge privilege to meet designer Alexis Mabille at his home. Designer, because while the term is precise enough to evoke the world of creation for all of us, this term does not encompass any specific field. It refers, above all, to the act of designing. And designing is precisely what this Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters does. If the name of this native of Lyon seems evocative to you, it is likely to be the result of his fame in the tightly closed circle of fashion. The French Haute Couture Federation, of which he is an official member. For Alexis Mabille collaborated with the greatest of them – John Galliano and Hedi Slimane at Dior, as well as Stefano Pilati at Yves St Laurent – before becoming one himself. But let’s not rewrite history, and talk about his extraordinary propensity for reinventing himself. Not for nothing does he refer to himself as a designer. The artistic director has always nourished a deep-rooted passion for decoration, which he discovered and cultivated among the architects and interior designers in his family. For him, it is the tool that allows him to take care of a person’s environment. An essential to “bring well-being to everyone, and participate in their personal and emotional development”. A creator of fashion, but also of interiors. After the restaurant, Froufrou, whose decor he designed, Alexis Mabille is still amazing us. He designed his apartment under his decorative signature, his intriguingly named Beaubow interior design company. Entirely renovated, designed and decorated by him, this abandoned space in the Nouvelle-Athènes district has been reborn. This is “Directoire architecture, inspired by neoclassicism and given a contemporary twist by the floors and the furniture.” Meticulous, the creative genius applied himself to replacing all the ceilings, all the mouldings and all the woodwork. As if they had always been there. A Titanic work where symmetry, like light, reigns supreme. Alexis Mabille, who loves to entertain and set the scene, has brought his own theatre to life. A place where a warm welcome and celebration intertwine. A place where you can imagine yourself living as its inhabitants did in the past, by candlelight.

Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Salon Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salon Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille

Alexis, can you introduce yourself, please?

Alexis

I’m a designer. Fashion is my primary passion, but I have always been involved in design and decoration in parallel. When I was very small (around seven years old) I started sewing, drawing, painting and building things. Naturally, after my formal education, I moved to Paris where I developed my passion for clothing by working in prestigious houses with exciting people such as John Galliano and Heidi Slimane at Dior, as well as Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent. Then I decided to set up my own unisex and accessory brand, which, over time, became haute-couture. I have always done interior design for my family and friends. Its logic as a lifestyle is evident to me. When you come to constructing concepts of life, one is linked to the other.

Who do you think of when you create?

Alexis

No one in particular. I love the diversity of women and of all human beings. So beautiful, and, at the same time, so strange. Tastes and preferences vary so much from individual to individual, and that has always fascinated me. I was keen to share my perspective and for others to trust me with the choices that shape their daily lives.

You are welll-known in the fashion world but also – and increasingly – in the world of decoration. Which do you prefer?

Alexis

I’ve given everything to fashion. And there’s still a lot to do! Interior design is a hobby that, over time, has taken a professional place in my life. I love them both equally!

Tell us about this apartment’s history.

Alexis

It’s stunning! I was visiting places that were a bit jaded and depressing, and it was this one (the worst at first) that inspired me! The proportions, the spaces, the light ( even though I visited it on a rainy day), the neighbourhood … I felt at home. But everything had to be torn apart to revive the idea I had of my new “New Athens” in the ninth arrondissement and to make the place my own.

Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Salon Bureau Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille Salon Bureau Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salon Bureau Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salon Bureau Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salon Appartement Paris Designer Portrait Alexis Mabille

When and how did you commit to it?

Alexis

More than four years ago, when I was in the midst of collection madness, I asked some architect friends to work on it with me. But I wanted a rigorous approach to bring the Directoire architecture back to life, inspired by neo-classicism and with a modern twist added through the floors and furniture. I changed the seating areas, opened up the rooms and played with symmetry and mirrored perspectives to break up the space.

This is a late 19th-century property with a distinctly Directoire feel – how did you want it to look?

Alexis

Bright and with high ceilings. There are no curtains except in the bedroom! I restored the few mouldings that remained under the false ceilings. The trick was to do everything. The woodwork and the mouldings, just as if they had always been there! Which was certainly not the case … It’s pure Directoire with a two-coloured herringbone floor like a large carpet, inspired by a design created by Jean Royère for a world exhibition.

Do you still carry on the tradition of grand receptions, which were in vogue in that period?

Alexis

I like to have dinners with friends or drinks on the spur of the moment, but always sophisticated! I love the dishes, the glasses (which I collect), and so I bring it all to life! This place is designed for sharing, and my friends feel good here, I think!

Tell us about your furniture. What pieces do you have in your home?

Alexis

A mix of family pieces that go everywhere with me, others gleaned at flea markets, in the auction rooms or galleries! It can range from contemporary, with the 1940s, to the style of Napoleon III. There’s a sort of conversation between the furniture and the objects, all of which have personality! I designed the sofas and coffee tables myself. They are the first steps in furniture editions that I’m designing currently. And of course, some pieces by artists who are dear to me, whether they’re well-known or not: I don’t care! It’s the emotion of the work that matters to me.

Couloir Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salon Couloir Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Salle à manger Détails Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille

I have always done interior design for my family and friends. Its logic as a lifestyle is evident to me. When you come to constructing concepts of life, one is linked to the other.

Salle à manger Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Salle à manger Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille

Where do you go hunting, where do you discover new artists?

Alexis

At the flea markets in Vanves, Saint-Ouen or abroad. But on auction house sites as well. I pay close attention to specialist friends who help me discover new things!

What use have you made of materials, textures or colours to recreate the atmosphere you were dreaming of?

Alexis

It’s quite simple for me, like putting things together for a dress. It’s about desires and colours that come together and stand against each other to create harmony, like my petit point tapestry sofa by artists in the style of Lurcat.

What were your main inspirations for this project?

Alexis

As I said earlier, the Directoire style, but also Dorothy Drapper’s work for the bathroom and neoclassicism.

What other decorative “construction sites” will you be working on this year?

Alexis

There’s always a little bit in my work, with the rigour of lines and spaces. But each place must have a dedicated personality with a feel of its own. I like to feel at home and in tune with all the places I decorate.

After years spent in the first arrondissement, you are now discovering the ninth. Do you already have favourite places to recommend to us there?

Alexis

Yes, I love this district! There’s the Rue des Martyrs, with its various shops. My Japanese canteen, Hotaru. The place I go to for my indoor flowers, Les Fleurs d’Aline. And the Gustave Moreau Museum and the Museum of Romantic Life where I love having lunch under the trees in the summer.

Salle de bain Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Chambre Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Chambre Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Alexis Mabille, Between <br>Fashion and Decoration
Chambre Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille
Chambre Appartement Paris Designer Alexis Mabille

Deco inspiration...

Marianne Fersing and Cédric Charbit, <br> Loulou, Anouk 4 months

Marianne Fersing and Cédric Charbit,
Loulou, Anouk 4 months

It was love at first sight. This apartment was an evidence for Marianne and Cédric. Windows with beautiful bronze espagnolette, doors with mouldings and very detailed handles, marbled fireplaces: a real treasure of history was there, within easy...

You may also like

Aucun comment

Add your comment

Be the First to Know

Captured Moments. Interiors. Personalities. Every week, just for you.