LIVING IT UP: “I didn’t want a retrospective or a museum show. That can all happen when I’m dead,” said a vibrant Roland Mouret, who’s set to release his first book “Provoke, Attract, Seduce” on Nov. 6 (Rizzoli).
“Twenty years have gone by. I just wanted to consider what I’ve done, look at the clothes again and try to understand them — and my creative DNA,” said the designer from his town house, showroom and shop on Carlos Place in Mayfair.
The coffee-table book was created with Mouret’s longtime collaborator, Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, the fashion stylist and editor of 10 Magazine, and the writer Alex Fury. In it, Mouret talks about his childhood growing up in Lourdes, France, as a butcher’s son, his early career as a model and move into fashion design, his love of women’s bodies and approach to design.
He looked into his archives and reshot all of the old looks as if they were new, working with photographers including Vanina Sorrenti, Alessio Bolzoni and Cedric Buchet. There are images of his pre-collections in there, too, along with arty collages by Brian Burn and a shoot called “Butcher’s Apron” by Tierney Gearon.
“The butcher’s apron was really the start of everything,” Mouret says in the book. “All my technique came from it. It is because of that apron that I was not frightened to take a piece of fabric and to drape it, because of that education as a child, as a butcher’s son.”
While the book is more of a meditation on his style and approach, rather than a look at the past, Mouret has reissued five styles from his archive to mark the book’s launch and his 20 years in business.
He’s also chosen a further seven looks from past years for an exclusive capsule collection with Matchesfashion.com, called Tools of Seduction.
“This is my scratch book, my journey,” he said of the Rizzoli tome, adding that when he sets out to design, he doesn’t have a grand or complicated plan. “I think of dressing my best friend.”
Mouret also talked about the speed of the industry. He thinks fashion needs to slow down, and that designers need to make fewer clothes that last longer.
Fashion should be about personal style, rather than trends, he said, and designer clothing should be able to live in a woman’s closet “for a minimum of five years, not just six months.” Mouret also thinks customers should also “stick to what they already have and make it last longer,” and focus on mapping out their style and identity rather than chase trends.
Mouret is planning launch events later this month at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and at Neiman Marcus in Miami and Los Angeles.