42 posts tagged "Roland Mouret"
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 Granted full access to the Norman Parkinson Archive, he found an unpublished hat shoot the photographer did in 1948, appropriately in Bath (top).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.
Roland Mouret’s Fall 2013 collection took to the runway in Paris this morning. But we visited the designer in his showroom a few days prior and learned that, for the first time, Mouret is launching handbags. “After 15 years of just dresses, its nice to bring out bags. And these bags are really…” mused Mouret, who was cool and calm before his show. Four styles will hit stores for Fall. There’s the Hugo clutch, which is named for Victor Hugo, the Monceau, named for a park in Paris, the Paris Paris (above, right), and the Le Sept (above, left)—both of which get their titles from nightclubs that Mouret used to visit when he was “young.” The designer told us that his bags, which come in rich fall hues (like emerald, chocolate, and burgundy) and textures (calfskin, goatskin, suede, and stingray-print kidskin), are all about attitude. For instance, he suggests the cross-body Monceau would look great with a cocktail dress. He also thinks a bag should be every woman’s best friend (and really, who could disagree?). Our favorite style happens to be the Paris Paris—a sweet, geometric bag with gold hardware. “Every good friend brings something to your life,” Mouret explained, “and Paris Paris is little friend that you can bring with you everywhere.” However, constant companionship doesn’t come cheap: Mouret’s new wares will retail between $1,195 and $2,595.
Roland Mouret’s handbags will be available at select retailers and at www.rolandmouret.com this fall.
Just last year, Robert Clergerie handed over the reins of his namesake footwear brand to Fung Brands Ltd. and announced Roland Mouret as the new creative director. They’ve wasted no time expanding—fans of the French label, a group that includes celebrities ranging from Blake Lively to Lauren Hutton, will be pleased to know there’s a newly opened outpost located at 8 Rue de Grenelle, which bowed during Paris fashion week. (A Robert Clergerie pop-up shop also opened recently at Selfridges in London.) Inside the Paris space, designed by artist Thierry Dreyfus, Mouret’s debut collection is under the spotlights. “I am thrilled to present my first collection for Robert Clergerie in one of Thierry’s installations,” he says. “He is incredibly well-known in the fashion scene for his lighting and I have been a huge fan of his work since the beginning of his art installations.”