Roland Mouret is back! Eight months after going into administration and then inking a new deal with Han Chong of Self-Portrait fame, the iconic French designer has produced a new collection. Fans of his signature, sensual designs will be thrilled – no-one flatters a woman’s body quite like Mouret. His label has been reborn as part of the new SP Collection group, which Chong has ambitions to build into a luxury contemporary powerhouse with several labels under its umbrella.
“It’s a collaboration of two minds which I am completely open to. I am learning from it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I think I learnt that last year,” said Mouret, whose previous business was decimated by the pandemic when many of his key stockists cancelled their orders.
The new Roland Mouret brand is a fresh incarnation – with more accessible price points (£295 for tops, £600 for dresses and £1,300 for gowns) and a more contemporary approach. “Automatically, you open to another kind of customer,” he says. “You still have a product for the customer that follows me, but there is also a new customer,” he says. Chong is a creative CEO with a genius for knowing what customers want. With him taking care of the strategic side of the business, including manufacturing in his factories in China, Mouret has focused on channelling his essence into the collection. He’s been able to cherry pick ideas from nearly 30 years of design and update it for today. “You have to understand your past. But be open minded of the future and to live in the present,” he said.
His flattering silhouettes remain, but there are subtle updates. Gone are the signature back-zips. “Han said that the back has to be pure, simple, so the attention is on the on the front, because look at the way we live,” says Mouret holding up his smartphone. To that end, he’s worked hard on creating interesting necklines and introduced cut-outs details, “In my past, I could never have done it,” he says, because his older customers would never wear it. His new, younger customers will it lap up along with his signature wiggle dresses in shorter hemlines. His draping is legendary, but Mouret admits that modern customers want something that’s easy to slip on. His origami folds are still there on some red-carpet pieces, but elsewhere, he’s focused on cleverly ruching jersey pieces that have plenty of impact but are as easy to wear as a T-shirt.
A flattering, slouchy trouser suit and a chic maxi coat which Mouret suggests could be worn a la Parisienne – “with nothing underneath” – will have cross generational appeal. Hardworking functional pieces also get the Roland treatment, with high-waisted leggings, and body-con, cashmere knit co-ords coming into the Mouret orbit. Red carpet was always a strong point for him and here he excels, with fully sequinned columns and a slinky black number that he says will set off your diamonds. Celebrity stylists are already calling him to work with their clients. “There is a sense of fun, of drama, of fashion, but the lines are pure,” says Mouret. The collection will be available from October.
Photography courtesy of Roland Mouret.