Monday 18th September

| BY Richard Gray

Roland Mouret: Ready-to-Wear SS18

“…trends come and go but a strong silhouette is timeless,” said Roland Mouret of his thoughtful and beautiful collection just. Taking over the brutalist National Theatre building on London’s South Bank, a hub for the creative arts, Mouret gave an ode to a womanly shape.

The skill and technique of the designer’s “pin and drape” dresses is certainly unparalleled in the capital. Certain of these, and tops too, had a sense of undress: a shoulder on a beautiful frock cleverly held in place without “falling off”. Where had the woman come from, a saucy rendezvous with a secret lover? Mouret seems to understand a woman’s body like few designers and he is deft at celebrating the form with imaginative and origami-like folding techniques using a series of clandestine “stitch networks” to create silhouettes that follow and flatter and sometimes dramatically change the line. This is very clever stuff. One snappy and stretchy orange dress was sublime but take the eye up to the shoulder straps: two straps became four and a brand new neckline – dress engineering.

His studio, based in the capital, has garnered a reputation for delicate beading and handiwork; one section of the show had squares of net stitched with quilted flowers with elongated petals and strewn sequins and the craft is equal to any of the Paris ateliers. Mouret fans make a beeline for the tassel trimmed Finchley dress for important events and any of the super-useful crepe tops and that extra special stone dress in crepe too. Fast forward to spring. It’s going to be heavenly!

Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans