Le Palace, the legendary Paris nightclub, was the focus for Roland Mouret's ardor in this season's love letter of a collection. Le club's heyday was in the 1980s, when it was still under the control of Fabrice Emaer. At that point, Mouret was a mere whippersnapper and Le Palace had a renown and reputation in the vein of a Parisian Studio 54. But being French, the designer would probably say that nothing could compare.
"I went back to revisit my eighties," said Mouret of the collection. "I was young, I had fun, we lived in a group. The reality was dark but the night was for clubbing and full of light. It was a time I felt had a resonance for now."
So as the strip lights flickered on in the scaffolding that lined the walls of an ornate salon in the Westin, the silhouettes sprung to life. To the recurring sound of Trouble Funk's "Still Smokin' " mixed with Japan and Kindness—the designer stated after his show, "I am as proud of the soundtrack as I am of the collection!"—Le Palace's combination of street life and nightlife, high society and café society was channeled through the dressed-up looks on his models. Along with typical Mouret body-con attire, such as pencil skirts that zipped right through the back or thick viscose jacquard knits that were sculpted to the wearer, there came newly added sharp-shouldered cropped jackets that helped define the waist and topped many of the looks. This graphic and architectural building of the silhouette didn't exclude an idea of pop, sex, and fun.
There has been a sense of optimism in the collections this season, and in many ways, it is exactly for the reason Mouret put forward: a sense of light in the dark. Much of this optimism is finding its focus through a personal and autobiographical journey, and this designer's offering is no different. It is one of the reasons that collections are looking so disparate. Mouret's, though nostalgic, had a sense of something that worked.