Roland Mouret is a man of many women. In a very proper way, mind, as this is a relationship of mutual admiration, sparked by the marked and continued homage the French-born designer pays to the feminine form. At this news-rich time for the designer -- Mouret is not only set to open his New York flagship store on November 14th, but he has also been announced as a judge on a long-awaited and finally upcoming French version of Project Runway -- his summer collection feels like a return to basics.
In past seasons Mouret dallied with innovative and more radical shapes. This season, these were dialed down, expressed through the graphic peak in a square neckline, or the silhouette defining structure of backs. For a refreshing twist to Mouret's seductive proposal, laser prints on cotton mesh replaced summer's broderie anglaise, and waffled cottons and silk cuts gave a touch of casual to dresses, circle skirts or the now ubiquitous short. Separates played with more graphic cuts like capelet tops, or punctiliously paneled jackets. Asymmetric necklines imbued shift dresses with a knee-jerk seduction.
The readily commoditized collection spoke of a canny awareness of his customer, and her active, sophisticated lifestyle. Nevertheless, there was no slacking in the design department. "The United States are my first market, so opening at 952 Madison was a natural next step, and this collection is a bouquet to Madison," said the toothsome designer backstage, confidently serene in a denim jacket and chinos, commenting on his new flagship. But commercial pursuits are not the only dimension to his work. "More than ever, I felt the need to celebrate desirability." From the starry gazes cast by all women backstage, charmed by the designer and enamored with his flattering work -- mission accomplished.