Roland Mouret London Fashion Week Women’s S/S 2019
Mood board: We talk a lot about the codes of designers and their clothes but not enough about the coded way in which women are living their lives. In the 20 years since Roland Mouret has been working under his own name, things have changed. The closing look to his A/W 2000 show was an asymmetric black dress, which scooped low enough to reveal the right breast. In the intervening years he riffed on the power and sexuality of women – his 2006 Galaxy dress dominated fashion for more than a decade. The Mouret woman is confident. She’s wearing clothes that are fitted to the body or cut away to reveal it. She is wily and knowing. ‘I design to be relevant, not only to who we all are, but to the female body shape, social class and everything else that it touches,’ his notes for the show began. For the coming season, he pulled together the soft-core focus of Just Jaeckin’s 1974 film Emmanuelle and the movements that have brought together the women of the world in response to abuse of male power. Soft blazers, belted trenches and dresses were open at the back – pinched together in a nod to the yonic paintings by the American artist Judy Chicago.
Scene setting: The models walked to ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ across the roof garden at the National Theatre. The flora swayed in the breeze, the bubble crepe, hammered silk and single wool felt flapped against the hard graphic line of Denys Lasdun’s brutalism. The ultra-plunging necklines were provocative in how they confronted the viewer. Trench coats had black mesh inserts in the vents, jackets had cutaway sleeves, revealing slices of arms. Slits of exposed lace showed more skin.
Sound bite: ‘I am known for my love and I believe understanding of women, I might push them and challenge them, but I will never ask them to compromise,’ the designer said. ‘Women across the world have found strength though the community of shared experiences. They are the voice for our society, and this is what I want to express in the collection.’ §