year anyone who’s
anyone (and anyone who isn’t) was papped wearing
the highly coveted Roland Mouret Galaxy dress (left, £800),
from Scarlet Johansen to Carol Vorderman (who has had
plenty of wear out of it on Countdown I’ve noted)
curves have been celebrated and accentuated by the wonder-garment.
So I feel that it’s only fitting to wax lyrical about
the man himself, and to introduce the latest dress that
is hoping to be the dress of 2006…
In 1961, at the age of 22, Roland
Mouret left his hometown of Lourdes to pursue a fashion
career in Paris. His rugged good looks were seized upon
by none other than Jean Paul Gaultier who made him a catwalk
model. Discontent with simply being able to (cat)walk the
walk; he endeavoured to talk the talk, and head to London
where he ran a clothing line called People Corporation.
On New Year’s Eve 1996 he made the lucrative decision
that his future would lie in designing. Roland Mouret’s
plans were quickly realised when by February 1998 his
debut collection was shown at London Fashion
Week. Each of the fifteen pieces in the collection were
made without patterns and were created by draping the fabric
over the body and fastening with studs and pins, inspired
by images from the movies where the heroine lies draped
in a bed sheet in a post-coital moment of utter femininity.
It was a huge
critical success and as such Collezioni magazine allowed
him his first cover. Mouret’s popularity soared,
along with his list of celebrity clients (including Madonna,
Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett) and saw him nominated
as British Designer of the Year in November 2004’s
British Fashion Awards, having won British designer of
the Year at the Elle style awards, Vidal Sassoon Cutting
Edge Award and a record three nominations at the Lycra
British Fashion Awards.
as Roland Mouret saw the monumental rise to household name
with the success of his Galaxy dress (with Harrods quoted
as saying that all 20 of his dresses were sold in an hour)
and with ‘Roland Mouret Designs’ about to make
a profit, behind the scenes things were falling apart at
the seams. In October 2005 Mouret astonishingly quit his
own label. This was owing to irreconcilable differences between
the man himself and Sharai Meyers, the Scottish businesswoman
whom, alongside her banker husband, hold 100% share in the
company. In 1998 a penniless Mouret took money offered to
him by Sharai to set up and expand, whereby his entire business
became property of the Meyers. In quitting the label Roland
Mouret is no longer a part of ‘Roland Mouret Designs’.
The latest Roland Mouret Designs
dress that is hoping to take up where the Galaxy left off
is the Titanium - shown here in green (left) and black
(above). To get your hands on an original you would have
to have had your name down on a list some four months ago.
And you would have to have £950
burning a hole in your wallet.
Just as with the Galaxy, there
will undoubtedly be imitations cropping up all over the
high street, and celebrities queuing up to wear a Mouret
creation; but what of the man himself? Rumour has it that
he will be vacating his Chelsea premises this spring, and
is likely to be picked up by a fashion house (maybe filling
shoes at Chloe?) however, never again will Roland Mouret
work under the label that bears his name.
Thanks to Maddy Platt at Roland
Mouret Design for providing the photographs for this article.
All photographs are copyright Chris Moore.