We may have swooned for the Roland Mouret dresses at the Gap this year, but most of America ignored them. Months later, the dresses still pop up on clearance racks. Meanwhile, the designer hasn't had a runway show in over a year, prompting Lisa Armstrong of the Times UK to ask, "Does anyone still care about Roland Mouret?" Well, they do now. The designer put out new dresses this week, soon available on Net-a-Porter. They're all over $1000, but also quite gorgeous, and some of the only gowns on the market built for a myriad of women's bodies. In his interview with Lisa, Roland recounts his consideration for pear shaped women, women with flatter chests, and those who ditch the rules (and The Rules - one signature dress in his new collection is based on the gray suit his mother wore on her wedding day, which happened after she'd already had a child). His new collection even has a zippered hoodie and a pair of black hot pants. But the line feels a little like Whole Foods - you're supposed to want to pay more because it's good for you. With big luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada, most women can't afford the dresses, but there are bags and shoes and charms and perfumes and sunglasses, so everyone can buy into the label - even if they need to save for months. A line entirely of clothing is different, especially when it's nascent. Will enough women buy into Roland's steep and lush brand? We would if we could, but that won't turn any profits.
Roland Mouret's Stripey Spring
To build his spring collection, Roland Mouret thought a lot about Daniel Buren's transformation of the Palais Royale in 1986. The artist's abstract installation, Les Deux Plateaux, which is a cement grid marked by columns painted with black and white stripes, was quite controversial at the time. "It was about deconstruction, contradiction, a clash of colors," Mouret said before the show this morning. "I never want to be too safe."