'Designing doesn't get easier,' Roland Mouret admitted or, rather, reminded us in his show notes this morning. 'You struggle to find an honesty, and then you struggle to maintain it.' Throughout his career Mouret has been nothing but honest, staying true to his you're-born-with-it skill of draping cloth on a woman's body like few others can, crafting out his own path and creating a pretty little empire in the process, not to mention influencing many others. Which makes reading his notes even sweeter. 'I have taken that skill I have and sought only to be the best I can; to make an honest collection with the clothes themselves as text, as narration, as a story of my life and travels. I am, after all, much like the women I dress…' And there lies the secret to his success: a clear understanding of both his customer and himself and an even clearer love for what he does. 'Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. Talent is what counts, and to never confuse success with talent.' Wise, wise words that designers everywhere, students and established figures, should repeat to themselves every morning in front of their mirror.
So, on to the clothes. A modern nomadic spirit permeated the collection, most obvious in the geometric patterns on asymmetrical basket-weave coats, dresses and patchwork leather skirts, as well as the micro beaded tapestry 'warrior' bodices that seemed ready for battle. More subtle were the patterns on the sheer black polonecks that were layered under everything. They were inspired by the unique patterns fishermen's wives made in order to identify their husbands. Mouret knows how to stay close to a woman's body without restricting it, so small cuts and pleats on hemlines allowed for movement. And yet, just as effective was a simple black dress with just a small cut-out to its square neckline or a black jumpsuit with a dipping neckline. 'Are you naked under your sweater?' read the title of the collection. What a tease!