A return to “real” clothing has been one of the big narratives of the Fall2023 collection, but it’s not something Roland Mouret hasn’t thought about or is doing because, well, forever, really. For him, the notion of escapist (read: unwearable) fantasy isn’t so much the idea that escapism isn’t part of a designer’s social contract: you have to remember that you’re dressing someone somewhere to The lives they’re actually living. For Mouret, that idea has only grown stronger since we’ve slowly emerged from the pandemic. “Clothes need to fit into our functional world,” he said by phone from his home in Suffolk, England, on a Friday afternoon. “Today, we’re buying clothes for ourselves. Buying just for the sake of buying is gone.”
Between the lines: know who you’re designing for, and stick to it. This is evident from his latest collection, which distills many of the great Mouret-isms from the past into one striking gift: a fitted giant Galaxy dress in shades; !); fabric twists to accentuate (and embellish) the body for a thoughtful, grown-up sensuality; and shoulders, whose drama relied entirely on his tailored graphic expertise to give them decorative glamor.
Standouts here: a sinuous black maxi dress with a slash neckline (and wear it with some sturdy flats); even blacker – coming this fall Revival—a small jacket shape worn with a pencil skirt that was rolled and swirled at the hip; a lavender dress with long sleeves and a high neck that was softly tailored; The words “Hold for many years” were written. His new line: skirts, for those who may be discovering the magic of Mouret for the first time, and want to dress small but with a big impact, capturing how many young women today empower themselves by dressing what they love.
This is Roland Mouret, and there is a thoughtful and prescient philosophy to his work on this series. He kept thinking about actresses, and how their public lives and private roles intertwine, and the notion of acting when they enter a room. (It’s not just actresses: Muret singled out Catherine, Princess of Wales as “a huge role model for defining her public persona while remaining private. She’s been an inspiration since Charles became king.”) Of course, You don’t need a PhD to understand what’s going on here: In our world of IG and social media and influencers, who are you actually dressing for? (You could also say that’s the real gist of all the real clothing chatter.) For Mouret, you don’t have to do it yourself to answer that question. “Women have more power now,” he said. “It depends on how much she shows or doesn’t show. Clothes are a tool to protect her privacy.”