By  on June 29, 2007

PARIS — After a decade designing couture at Jean-Louis Scherrer, Stephane Rolland, 40, figures he's been around the block a few times when it comes to the haute craft.

Yet he hopes to conjure a few surprises out of his hat as he strikes out on his own with an eponymous collection that will be presented on the runway here on Monday.

"Scherrer was an excellent school," said Rolland. "But I felt that I needed to express myself differently, to be able to find my own freedom."

During his tenure at Scherrer, Rolland became known for glamorous confections with a hint of French sophistication. They resonated with the likes of Suzanne Saperstein and customers from the Middle East, combining to make Scherrer one of the few houses here to turn a profit with its couture.

Thanks to funding from an investor who Rolland said wishes to remain anonymous, Rolland's business will be based in a plush two-level location on the Avenue George V.

"I will take a personalized approach to the couture," said the designer, who often has charmed clients by surreptitiously sketching gowns he thinks suited them.

"I'd say my style wasn't about any age group, but it's for a woman with a lot of money, who is active, and who wants to be sexy," he said.

Rolland described his debut as "minimalist" but "extreme in its choices. My type of clothes are pure, Zen and architectural." The collection will count some 30 silhouettes that temper masculine and feminine flourishes with sensuous curves and draping details.

Once the couture is behind him, Rolland said he would develop his repertoire to include a furniture collection as well as ready-to-wear. "I want to offer a complete Stephane Rolland universe," he explained.

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