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Fashion SenseJanuary 2006 Go To...Fashion Index

ROLAND MOURET DESIGN

Roland Mouret Galaxy DressLast 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 Roland Mouret Titanium DressFashion 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.

Roland Mouret Titanium DressJust 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 Phoebe Philo’s 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.

For more, visit: http://www.rolandmouret.com/