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There are few other fashion designers who embrace and celebrate the healthy female form in the way that Roland Mouret does. With his unique understanding of the female silhouette Mouret has forged a unique brand and his tremendous affection for feminine curves has seen him using cuts and fabrics that accentuate a woman’s body, creating a feel of sexuality and fruitfulness.
Mouret left his Parisian fashion college in 1979 when instructed by one of his tutors to “get some life experience”. He started working as a stylist and model and soon found a position at French Elle, learning pattern cutting at the same time. Soon after he started working on the Jean Paul Gaultier menswear collection.
When Mouret moved to London in 1994 he started working for a fashion label 'People Corporation'. The label did not last and as it began to collapse Mouret's own reputation was growing and so he decided to set up his own label.
In 1998 Mouret's first collection made its debut at London Fashion Week. For this collection Mouret had decided to abandon pattern cutting altogether, creating his entire collection, including several Roland Mouret dresses, by draping lengths of fabric on the body and securing them with hatpins and studs. This style of constructing garments was revolutionary and met with applause, so much so that Mouret’s clothes appeared on the cover of Collezioni magazine; a rare honour for a fresh new designer such as Mouret.
Roland Mouret Designs Ltd. opened in 2000 and Mouret immediately began to forge ahead with his now trademark exquisite tailoring juxtaposed with soft draping. For his SS01 collection, when the majority of designers were adopting the 'bubble gum' look of the season Mouret opted to create a combination of minimalist mini dresses and classic two tone gowns. A sheer royal blue Roland Mouret wrap dress stood out particularly for its elegant simplicity and ability to shape the body perfectly.
Roland Mouret SS02 saw a collection of beautiful eveningwear, complete with asymmetric black evening dresses that embraced the signature Roland Mouret draping. There was a strongly romantic feel to the collection with these floating and feminine summer gowns. Minimalism was key to this Roland Mouret collection as his cleverly placed fabrics dressed the body beautifully. Showstoppers included a pink senorita dress and a 1950s strapless Roland Mouret cocktail dress, both of which had a perfect balance of femininity and empowerment.
The Roland Mouret SS03 collection was an homage to “key moments in British history”, from the 1950s, to mods and punks. Despite these more hard edged influences Mouret ensured the collection did not look aggressive and punk inspired slashes were blended with delicate lace and light fabrics. The collection was done mainly in black with fishtail strapless dresses and there was also a cheeky splash of colour with a pink nipple-baring sheer Roland Mouret dress.
For AW05 Mouret paid homage to his French roots. Using the Hotel du Nord as inspiration he created a collection that encapsulated the look of 1940s Paris. Ultra feminine and very sensual, this was the collection that launched the Roland Mouret Galaxy dress. Inspired by curvy stars Scarlett Johansson and Dita Von Teese the Galaxy dress was described by Mouret himself as "a dress for women who wear bras”. Using a combination of fine tailoring and fabric specifically chosen to cling beautifully to the body in the most flattering of places, the Roland Mouret Galaxy is the most iconic dress produced by the designer to date. The fabric itself was inspired by those used in lingerie construction and it molded perfectly to the shape of the body, while the empire neckline accentuated the bosom, pushing everything up and out. A lighter version of the Galaxy, the Roland Mouret Titanium dress also appeared on the red carpet that season. A second hand Galaxy dress in particular has huge collector's appeal, selling for several hundreds of pounds.
For AW06, after a split from his former business partners which resulted in him losing the rights to use his own name, Mouret was produced his designs under the name 'RM by Roland Mouret'. In this year GAP commissioned Mouret to produce a collection of 10 Roland Mouret for GAP dresses to help raise awareness for its RED charity. Creating a range for day and evening, Mouret kept in line with GAP's trademark simplicity mixing in his own gift for shaping the feminine form.
SS07 saw the debut of the Roalnd Mouret 'Satellite' collection. Again Mouret didn't disappoint with his trademark flawless tailoring. In this 21 piece collection Mouret applied his signature techniques of draping. In 2007 Mouret created the Roland Mouret Rainbow Dress collection for Net-a-porter, a nine piece collection of vividly coloured short cocktail dresses in purple, turquoise, orange, dark blue, beige and pink.
2007 also marked the year of the Roland Mouret Moon dress. Whilst not as iconic as the Galaxy dress the sleek 1940s feminine style of the Moon dress had Victoria Beckham singing its praises, which certainly added to its appeal. A figure hugging stretch cotton dress with epaulette sleeves the Roland Mouret Moon dress also had a high neck line with origami folding which flattered the chest and enhanced the appearance of the neck.
SS09 saw Mouret looking to couture for inspiration. With a sleek black, beige, white and grey colour palette the collection’s dresses had sleek lines which complemented and created the illusion of a curvaceous figure. Knitwear was a strong theme throughout Roland Mouret's AW09 collection which featured fine knitted sweater dresses.
SS10 saw a strong North African theme running through the collection. Again Mouret used his signature draping and fabrics were light in a colour palette of beige, mustards and teals. Strong black came in the form of accessories and jewellery, creating a sharp and edgy contrast. Also in 2010 Mouret won the rights to use his own name once again.
For his SS11 collection Mouret updated his signature female friendly silhouettes, opting for more highly detailed fitted Roland Mouret dresses. This season however also he incorporated looser fitting fabrics and strategic draping, giving the impression of a much roomier garment while still maintaining an effortless form.
For AW11 Vogue.com said “A Roland Mouret dress is always a Roland Mouret dress – recognisable from 20 metres, its cut and draping is at once flattering and revealing and it’s a trademark that has done the French-born designer a lot of good.”. The collection included a selection of exquisitely cut dresses in jewel shades. Long and short all of them perfectly cut with beautiful detailing in the form of side splits, soft fabric spines and clever folds across the shoulders.
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