In London, Roland Mouret has become a top name intent on pulling clear of the reputation for amateurism that plagues many of the city’s formative talents. This season, in pursuit of that goal, he embraced the ’60s Courrèges-Cardin groove that’s already surfaced in New York, basing his leggy show around mod minis, space-age cutouts, black, orange and lashings of patent leather. Citing A Clockwork Orange and Metropolis as his references, he sent out a collection that proved he can make clothes with a clean-cut quality, but left a question-mark hanging over a more essential point: the coherence of his personal vision.
Mouret showed precise little raised-waist wool coats and suits with collars, pocket flaps, tabs and half-belts picked out in black patent leather. His sequence of A-line minidresses, some flipped in the hem, had curvy keyhole leather-banded motifs at the neck, or were completely suspended from complex patent harnesses, Barbarella-style. Fluted knit dresses done in vertical stripes of plain and sheer stitching, floating over an opaque base, seemed softer and more modern. For evening, he switched to pale gray and edged the banded keyholes in pretty, iridescent silver sequin.
The collection was proof that Mouret can produce a grown-up, pulled-together look with a lot of commercially viable elements, especially the outerwear. The problem was that the empire-line coats seemed to move in the slipstream of Marc Jacobs, and the cutout dresses in the wake of Sophia Kokosalaki’s experiments. Meanwhile, the romantically draped dresses that have become Mouret’s signature were missing. That’s a pity, since they represent his best chance at rising above the crowd.