Roland Mouret, a Frenchman who has become something of a star in the London fashion world, brought his collection to New York for the first time this season. He came to the attention of the press over three years ago when he began to show what has now become his signature—seamless draped dresses held together with just a pin.
For Spring, Mouret reprised the themes of his Fall 2003 collection, which blended mod-style tailoring with Barbarella-inspired accents. Exploring the clash of hard and soft, he translated Fall's patent-leather harnesses into knit bathing suitsa new category for the designerand showed a softly draped gown with an unexpected breastplate embellished with pieces of antique mirror. There were beautiful coats, like the strong white structured one that opened the show and the bathrobe-style piece in white satin, and several marvelous draped and layered tanks—some produced via extraordinary feats of suspension, others featuring beautiful embroidery. Dresses combined Grecian drape with flapper flow and came out short and sexy or with long, languorous, mermaid-like trains.
Less successful were Mouret’s attempts at raunch—zippered, leather proto-punk/biker vests and jackets—and gimmicks like Noel Stewart's Mickey Mouse hats, which detracted from the focus of the collection. Overall, however, the show lived up to its title: "Smiling in the Bright Lights."