As the fashion world awaited an answer to the Christian Dior question, Roland Mouret invoked the designer’s mid-1950s heyday in his sleek autumn winter 2012 collection.
Instead of the clarets, evergreens and plums we’ve seen elsewhere, Mouret’s looks came in a range of confectionary hues inspired by Dior’s mid-‘50s collections and Thierry Mugler’s ‘80s winter pastels. Glacial tones like sherbet lemon, winter-sky blue, matcha green and dove grey played elegantly across the silk crepe looks.
‘I wanted the pastels to be frozen,’ he explained after the show. ‘For me, pastels are winter, because they’re colours that look really good when your skin is lighter, and colour that mixes more easily when the sky is grey.’
It wasn’t just the colours that were frozen. The show notes said Mouret was thinking about Paris’s ‘big freeze’ of 1947, with all the post-war urges for elegance and practical need for protective bundling that connotes. Masterful folding created fluttering mini-capes, slimline bustles and soft peplums that added layers without bulk to Mouret’s genius-from-any-angle dresses. An origami coat in heavy silk crepe looked like just the thing a woman would want to fold into as the weather began to bite. Animals even left imprints across the wintry tableaux, with a snow-leopard print and reindeer-like embossing running across a number of pieces.
Sleeveless jackets cut away just below the shoulder blades in the back, with a belt cinching the longer front. Mouret loves a multifunctional piece, and these ‘tabards’ were it for the season. ‘You can put it on knitwear, you can put it on other jackets or other outerwear, on the top or underneath,’ he explained. ‘It’s really that kind of practicality I love.’
The tabards—like sleeker sisters to this winter’s furry gilet—may have been convincing, but the biggest debut in this show was that of Mouret’s shoe collection. The designer recently signed on as Robert Clergerie’s creative director, and now he’s putting the brand’s artisans to work to execute his footwear vision. Violet suede ankle boots were one of the six styles that caught our eyes during the show; after, we learned that Mouret plans to build the line into 50 styles over the next three years.
‘When you want to become a master of something, you have to train. I’m in training mode now to learn as much as I can to define my identity as a shoemaker,’ he said. ‘But at the same time, I am working to learn from the right people, from everybody in the factory, to learn this new field.’