LONDON — Roland Mouret’s first step in creating his new collection was to separate the men from the boys.
This story first appeared in the January 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I asked myself, ‘How do we grow from boys to men?’ I wanted to evoke a man’s attitude, to dress someone who’s comfortable in his own skin, who’s happy to open the door for a woman and who takes control of his life,” said Mouret during an interview from his studio, a former Victorian schoolhouse in south London.
For Mouret, this translates into a low-key, dark — and glamorous — collection known as Mr. that contemplative, rollup-smoking artistes, poets and filmmakers would happily don.
The collection, which will launch in Paris with a two-day presentation beginning Thursday, features 20 tactile pieces including a pressed bouclé jacket, a lambs’ wool trench with invisible closures and secret interior pockets and a stretch brushed-wool Crombie coat with a shawl collar.
There are also reversible cashmere polo sweaters, pebble jacquard knits and a milk fiber scarf hand-painted with the abstract image of a nude woman. “It’s all about texture and softness,” he said. “Men are very sensitive about clothing and often they are fussier than women. They like to treat themselves.”
Mouret has given his tailoring a twist, gently sculpting sleeves, softly draping white cotton shirts and adding stitch-through detailing — a signature from his women’s collection — onto the pocket seams. He’s also stripped the buttons off jacket sleeves in a bid to evoke what he calls “understated” luxury.
“I wanted a Savile Row attitude, but not all of the details,” said Mouret. “I wanted purity — and didn’t want to overload the outfits with symbols of money and power.”
Heaven forbid, he added, if his customer looks like a “banker or a bouncer.”
Mouret began thinking about this collection two years ago, and said he conceived it as a pencil drawing that started with black and evolved into shades of gray. He said among the many influences were film noir, Eighties Paris and Savile Row.
The philosophy, he said, is similar to that of his women’s collection: “These are clothes that you want to wear all of the time, clothes you can feel safe in,” he said.
Prices range from about 220 pounds, or $360, for a shirt to 750 pounds, or $1,220, for a jacket to 1,950 pounds, or $3,180, for a coat. Mouret said the collection is meant to hang alongside Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Jil Sander on retail floors.
A limited edition capsule collection featuring Mr. trousers, a shirt, a trench and knitwear is on sale exclusively at Dover Street Market in London.