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Roland Mouret Inspired

The designer on New York women, bedroom parties, and his spring collection.


Sales and red carpet sightings have surged for Roland Mouret since he decamped from the London runway to New York four seasons ago. The French-born, London-based designer’s sensual technique has seduced many a top tier A-list lady, including Scarlett, Nicole, Sienna, Demi, and Mischa, who regularly don his dresses at events and premieres.

What it is about wearing a Roland Mouret dress that pleases and empowers women so much?

I truly love women, all women. By the time a woman puts on one of my dresses we’re already into the second part of our relationship—I’ve been thinking about her while I’ve been designing, and I know how I want her to look and feel. I think women are intuitive and can feel that.

What’s your relationship like with Sharai Meyers, the woman you spend the most time with, your creative director, and the co-owner of the label?

It was like love at first sight when we met. We just clicked. Then her husband encouraged her to work with me. And we’re like husband and wife, and the company is our baby. Sometimes we think alike, other times we fight like cats and dogs. We have two distinctly different backgrounds—she’s Scottish, and quiet, and I’m French, fiery, and, well, a guy.

Tell us a little about spring 2006.

Cole Porter’s music, George Cukor’s The Women, and Norman Parkinson’s photography were all important influences. Also key was thinking about Jean Cocteau’s journey into surrealism through his relationships, and Tarantino’s idea of a heroine. For print and color in particular we got inspired by looking at objects through water—distorted sizes and shapes—and by Chihuly’s water form sculptures. So it’s really about contradiction, about mirroring and opposing images. Shape wise, it’s micro versus macro, which means you can expect lots of colors. You’ll find grays and blacks in the collection, as well as canary yellow, raspberry, and green.

What are your favorite things to do in New York?

A great day in New York for me is to go to eat at Mexican Mama, go shopping at Jeffrey and Bergdorf, and finish off with a Broadway show. This time it’s going to be Spamalot. I am crazy about Monty Python, and my friends told me they thought of me when they saw it.

What do you think of New York women?

I love their laidback elegance. A really important part of my work is blending a New York woman’s style with French eccentricity and the quirkiness of English women. I like to combine those different looks, so the clothing has that gypsy, traveled, cultured feel.

What do you usually do post-show?

I love private bedroom parties—I’m a typical Frenchman, you might say. But I love them because they’re new, and intimate. Typically it’s just my close friends and me in my room; we lie around and have cocktails and burgers. It’s great—we kick our shoes off, loosen our clothes, and relax. This season, though, Motorola is throwing me a proper party at the 60 Thompson hotel. But I still plan on sneaking some people to my room.
Tanya Jensen-Hawver
View recent Roland Mouret collections >>
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