February 16, 2003 London
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.