“To be desirable,” said Roland Mouret backstage before his show – that was the point of the collection. “The meaning of desire. I want women to feel like they want to steal the clothes from the hanger straight away.”
To this end – and with an imminent New York store opening – Mouret was going back to looking at what defined him. And joy and desire was what he concluded – his sculpted silhouettes here softened in colour-blocked pastels to make this a young and fresh collection that in plenty of white, primrose yellow, pink and lilac was the embodiment of spring/summer.
Bold floral appliqués blossomed on tote bags and skirts, dresses too – at the front and as little caped backs; elsewhere came hibiscus prints laser-cut into cotton mesh for jackets and splaying A-line skirts; asymmetric hems were accompanied by injections of grass green; shorts were out in strong force and cemented that youthful sensibility. It was refreshing.
It had all started in the fittings, explained Mouret. His women chiming in with the covetable buzzword and so leading him to develop the Mouret DNA which, while still obviously underpinning the collection today, took on a lighter and relaxed new note this time round. It was refreshing.
“I’m a practical person, a Virgo, so I’m always thinking about what women will live in, trying to anticipate their feelings – people will buy because they desire,” he summed up.
“THESE are girls I used to see at the end of the Eighties when we went from Le Palace to Les Bain Douche,” said Roland Mouret after his show in Paris this morning. “They were harder and sexier – they were sweatier in fact.”
Not the most charming description, but with those bodycon dresses of patch-worked stretch cotton, silk and PVC in mind, we knew what he meant. Conceived in a moment when he was on the beach in Greece and heard reggae music turn to techno, the idea for this collection came about because he just felt like it was time to reimagine the woman he is dressing – so he made her younger, more overtly sexy with strips of skin showing between bound midriffs, and even gave her flat shoes (pointed, ankle-wrapped), to really let her work her nightclub moves.
His signature bodycon draping was evident, so die-hard Mouret lovers need not worry, but the bright fuchsia and mint striped against a predominantly monochrome collection was a stark move from the more languid colour palette we’re used to from Mouret.
“I like contradictions. Today I shall contradict myself,” he said in his notes. “That is the one way I have of asserting my liberty.”
It was still recognisable and desirable – precisely tailored, expertly draped skirt suits and dresses of feathery lace featuring one bright pink panel were resolutely feminine, while a lighter mesh fabric made for draped dresses and airy coats that allowed a little more room to breathe. In general though, Mouret wants us up on a table to dance next summer away.