44 posts tagged "Roland Mouret"
Following Emma Hill’s departure from the house earlier this year, Mulberry has announced that it will not be sending its Fall ’14 collection down the catwalk during London Fashion Week in February. The British brand told WWD that it has “not finalized its creative director search,” and that it will still participate in LFW, on a smaller scale. Word on the street is that Mary Katrantzou, Roland Mouret, Erdem Moralioglu, and Sophie Hulme—whose handbags have generated quite a buzz among editors and consumers alike—are all potentially up for the gig.
Roland Mouret was reflecting the other day on his motivation for curating a show of photographs to mark the centenary of the birth of the late Norman Parkinson. “I think it’s great at my moment in life to be able to talk about the people who influenced me when I was a young person,” the designer said. “You can see how much I was shaped by those images.” Yes indeedy, that’s true enough when you compare and contrast the precision and cut of a Mouret dress with the couture-esque elegance of a classic Parkinson photo. And yet, I suggested, there was something resolutely un-modern about such an image.
“They’re not modern at all,” Mouret agreed instantly. “They’re set in their time. But I don’t think modernity is the right word. What’s relevant is their legacy. It’s important that these pictures were set in the time they were done, against war and hard times. That’s what I loved when I was in my twenties. Now you have a laptop and you see the photos right away, and the emotions are so different.”
Given all that, it’s no wonder that Mouret’s curation focuses on Parkinson’s work in the forties and fifties, even though the photographer went on to produce peerless images in the sixties and seventies. (Jerry Hall in Communist Russia? Once seen, never forgotten.) Mouret has called the show Mouvements de Femme (it’s on exhibit till May 12, in The Octagon in Bath), and the reason why was made obvious when he talked about the first Parky shot that impacted him, a 1939 photo featuring models golfing at Le Touquet in the north of France. “I couldn’t understand the sense of movement,” Mouret mused. “It was so close to reality. Everything was a contradiction in that picture.” He was particularly mesmerized by the way the waistline of a model’s jacket lined up with the underside of the cumulus in the sky, a coincidental effect that today would be reliant on Photoshop.
The chiaroscuro of a classic Parkinson image also riveted Mouret. Granted full access to the Norman Parkinson Archive, he found an unpublished hat shoot the photographer did in 1948, appropriately in Bath (top). “It’s like Hitchcock, shadowy, never enough light.”
There may be a Parkinson moment kicking in right now. The Chris Beetles Gallery in London also has a show up and running. But Mouret and Parkinson’s mutual appreciation of the women in their world offers a bond more durably intimate than mere flavor of the month. “Think of his contemporaries—a photographer like Beaton, a designer like Dior. They were trying to control a woman’s movement and turn her into a trophy. Parkinson did the opposite. He and his models shared a life. And it was that life I wanted to celebrate in the photos I chose.” And now that he’s been bitten by the curatorial bug, Mouret can’t wait to tip his cap to another of his inspirations, the lost genius George Platt Lynes. Mouvements d’Homme, perhaps? Show spaces of the world, this man awaits your call.
“I can get out of a lot of things, but this dress is not one of them,” said burlesque star Dita Von Teese of the gown she donned to last night’s party at the Ace Hotel. The dress in question was the first fully articulated 3-D printed garment, which was conceptualized by designer Michael Schmidt. And the party, which drew the likes of Debbie Harry, Bob Gruen, and Andrej Pejic, served to toast its unveiling. “I was interested in finding the middle ground between the world of mathematics and the world of ephemeral beauty,” Schmidt told Style.com. The L.A.-based designer, who has crafted looks for stars like Madonna, Cher, and Lady Gaga (the latter wore his glass-bubble costume on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2009), conceived Von Teese’s frock with Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio in mind.
With the help of computational designer and architect Francis Bitonti, Schmidt used 3-D software to realize his space-age gown (think cinched waist and steroidal shoulders). The dress began as a digital rendering, which was then engineered in powdered nylon by high-tech collaborator Shapeways. “As an architect, it’s all about dealing with facades, and this was just about making a curvy one,” mused Bitonti. The body-skimming dress featured an undulating mesh silhouette of three thousand articulated joints fashioned out of layered nylon powder. As if that weren’t complicated enough, it also boasted twelve thousand Swarovski black crystals, which were painstakingly placed by hand after printing. “It’s obviously very futuristic, but I tried to retain a level of old-world glamour that was befitting of Dita,” added Schmidt. Indeed, the Blade Runner-meets-Bettie Page ensemble was worthy of the millennial pinup. “It’s superlight,” Von Teese mused later that evening after slipping into a demure Roland Mouret shift. But was it comfortable? “The only uncomfortable part is that I needed to be very cautious about how I walked. I had to make sure my heels wouldn’t get stuck in the hem.” Even in the future, glamour’s got its obstacles.