However thrilling the avant-garde razzle-dazzle of London Fashion Week may be, it was refreshing to step into Roland Mouret’s expansive, airy Clerkenwell studio—that he now shares with Self-Portrait’s Han Chong, after the latter acquired the former’s label in 2021—and spend a morning leafing through a few racks of his sleek, flattering, and beautifully-made clothes. That’s not to say that Mouret’s designs are dull in any sense; quite the contrary. It’s just that to appreciate Mouret’s innovations, you have to zoom in a little.
This season, Mouret decided to hone in on his popularity among a certain cohort of women—the kind who attend “ceremonies,” as he describes them. In layman’s terms, Mouret delivered a showstopping offering of eveningwear, although it was underpinned by his more cerebral approach to the category. “There’s a political element to ceremony, and a lot of rules of dressing, and I thought it would be nice to redefine that,” he said. “This collection is trying to bring a little bit more thoughtfulness—and pizzaz—to that area.”
You could begin with the structured gowns in wool silk and satin crepe—realized in a delectable array of colors spanning Champagne to candyfloss pink—that showcased Mouret’s elegant, ingenious way with draping and pleating, whether in asymmetrical twists swirling across and around the body or neat, envelope-like folds that lined the busts of mini dresses. As for the “pizzaz” Mouret mentioned, that came in the form of delicate, swishy gowns lavished in translucent sequins, as well as a series of ingeniously constructed dresses in black that featured bodices that appeared to open up like moonflowers, revealing a twinkling, diamanté-studded underneath. They were razor-sharp and just the right amount of seductive.
A key development since Mouret joined forces with Chong is his growing appeal to a wider demographic: in Mouret’s words, he’s now thinking about everyone from a “young girl to a mature woman.” But that’s all part and parcel of his overarching philosophy: he creates dresses as a kind of service to the women who wear them, as opposed to having any expectation they should mold themselves to the vagaries of his shifting tastes each season. You always feel like it’s the woman wearing Roland Mouret—and never the other way round.