Elle.com: Alexis Mabille Talks Dressing Dita Von Teese and Cointreau Bottles
by Lauren Levinson
March 13, 2013
Photo: Kaylin Idora
Alexis Mabille is making his mark on both the burlesque and luxe liquor world. Let us explain. The French designer, who had stints at Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Lancôme, just created the opening outfit for Dita Von Teese’s Strip Strip Hooray show, which premiered in NYC last weekend. The look is a sleek tuxedo that she, of course, takes off—bit by bit—during the act. Von Teese is a brand ambassador for Cointreau triple sec liquor, and later this year, Mabille will be debuting a bottle of it that he outfitted with his iconic bow tie motif.
We have a sneak peek at the Cointreau bottle that Mabille designed, and we also quizzed him about his inspiration, his love of bow ties, and what’s next for his brand.
On designing Dita Von Teese’s tux for her show: “This was an amazing idea Dita had after a couture show. After speaking about menswear for women, we decided to work together on creating a tuxedo for her show’s opening number, drawing inspiration from Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker. Step by step, we arrived to what it is a nice skinny tail, with a waisted-shirt molded on the corset and gilet in white cotton piqué, with mother of pearl buttons incrusted with rhinestones. This costume was realized as a couture piece, so it has a special attention to details.”
On Dita’s iconic style: “It is divine. I love Dita’s style, and the way she mixes pieces of vintage clothing together with a strong point of view. I’ve dressed her many times for photo shoots or events, and what I love is that she knows how to be herself no matter what she’s wearing. She understands the culture of fashion, which is very appealing. For me, it is such a pleasure every time I get to work with her.”
On how creating the cover for the Cointreau bottle came to be: “When Cointreau approached me about designing a bottle, I thought it would be an exciting project as I was quite familiar with the brand, not only because we are both French, but because Dita Von Teese is the Cointreau ambassador. I tried to approach the bottle design as I would when I dress a beautiful woman—striving to enhance natural beauty without going too far. I’m inspired by women like Dita, who has embraced the vintage bow tie as an accessory. My signature bow tie is a jewel that transcends the timeless design of the Cointreau bottle. Of course, the bow tie is also a nod to the clothing worn by bartenders at the beginning of last century, with their white poplin shirts and black silk bow ties.”
On what’s next for his brand: “A lot happened this year—we opened two shops in Paris on the left and the right banks, and I became an official member of the haute couture circle. So the next projects are focused on my collections—there are six a year including women, ready-to-wear, haute couture, and menswear. And I’m working on projects for opening new shops in America and Asia in the future. “
On living the dream: “I’m very happy about all that’s happened to me, how we’ve grown, and to see my collections on amazing personalities and celebrities like Dita. My label is totally moving in a developmental direction, which is very exciting and provides great opportunities for more people to see and understand my work. My dream is to continue doing what I love. That’s the best thing I could hope for. It is a freedom. “
The Alexis Mabille for Cointreau bottle will be available for $150 at fine spirit retailers for Holiday 2013. For more information on availability, visit cointreau.com.