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August 22 2014

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44 posts tagged "Roland Mouret"

Runway to Red Carpet: Art Basel’s Fashionable Fetes and a Few High-Low Mash-ups

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Kate MiddletonWhile Art Basel Miami Beach is technically an art show, it’s best known for being a place where the fashion, art, and celebrity sets collide to rage all week long. The party circuit kicked into full gear on Wednesday night with a host of soirees, including dinners hosted by Louis Vuitton and Swarovski that brought out notables such as supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Cindy Crawford. The latter chose a Roberto Cavalli body-con dress patterned with baroque swirls and a tweed print for the Vuitton fete, while Kurkova opted for a red long-sleeve David Koma Fall ’13 dress with nude mesh detailing on the neckline and sleeves at the Swarovski dinner. The following day, Louis Vuitton’s Fall campaign face, Michelle Williams, donned a full Vuitton look for the brand’s beach barbecue, layering a navy sweater over a red-and-white striped dress.

Across the pond, Kate Middleton mixed highs and lows on the red carpet, pairing a sparkling Zara necklace with a cream long-sleeve Roland Mouret gown at Thursday’s royal premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in London. As the credits rolled, the Duchess of Cambridge joined Nelson Mandela’s daughters and the film’s cast and crew in paying tribute to the revolutionary leader, who passed as the film was being screened.

On Tuesday, Keira Knightley made a return to the red carpet for London’s Serious Fun gala, stepping out in a dress we’ve seen her in several times before—including at her wedding this past spring. For this outing, she added sheer sleeves with embroidery at the wrists and neckline to make it more appropriate for the city’s chilly weather.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

Mulberry To Skip The LFW Runway

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Mulberry Spring '14Following 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.

Photo: IndigitalImages

Talking Peacocks And Galaxy Frocks With Roland Mouret

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Sophia and Roland

Did you know that Roland Mouret has a peacock named Mario? Neither did we. Apparently, he lives at the designer’s home outside London, along with a Jack Russell terrier called Dave. “He’s a very vain bird—he loves looking at himself in the windows,” said Mouret at a cozy dinner in New York’s Wallse restaurant last night. Unfortunately for us, Mouret didn’t bring the pets along for his whirlwind three-day trip to the Big Apple. But the jaunt, he explained, served as homecoming of sorts. “I had my big success in this city with the Galaxy dress, and it’s nice not to forget it,” recalled the French designer, referring to the curve-enhancing Fall 2005 frock that he showed at New York fashion week—it was widely regarded as the “dress of the decade.”

“I was so sure that that was going to be the dress,” said Mouret’s stylist of twelve years and the evening’s co-host, Ten magazine’s Sophia Neophitou. “I love being right,” she laughed.

Indeed, Mouret’s come a long way since that career-defining moment, what with the growth of his brand, his glamorous London store, his recent launch of handbags, and, of course, the move to Paris fashion week, where he showed his Spring ’14 offering in September. Suffice to say, a party across the Atlantic isn’t the most obvious way to unwind after sending one’s collection down the catwalk. But the designer insists that he’s got relaxation down pat. His secret? “A little red wine,” he whispered—with a glass of vin rouge in hand. And while he and Neophitou took a trip to Greece before the Spring season kicked off (apparently, the beach culture there influenced his latest lineup—particularly the runway music), he’s not a supporter of post-fashion month vacations. “It’s not the eighties. We can’t do that anymore!” he offered, continuing that the fast paced Internet culture requires designers and industry professionals to work 24/7. When asked if he missed the good old days, he replied, “I prefer it now—I prefer it now because everything feels new.”

Photo: Carly Otness/BFAnyc.com 

Un-Modern Art: Roland Mouret Curates the Classic Photos of Norman Parkinson

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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.

Photos: Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive

Dita in 3-D

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“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.

Photo: Jeff Meltz