PFW: ROLAND MOURET F/W 2014

Morning in Paris is once again on the grey side, with billowing clouds taking over the briefly clear sky, warning that yes, there will be more rain today. Such seems to be an unescapable fact of fashion weeks this season, with sunshine being in very short supply. We’re just half-way through this Parisian adventure and the wear and tear of a month-long excursion is showing on the more familiar faces seen at most every show. There’s a very good reason Anna Wintour wears her sunglasses indoors.

Ah, but we have Roland Mouret starting the morning off and he was most kind in giving us some bright rays of color even while letting black and white pieces anchor his fall/winter collection. I was a bit concerned with the designer notes said that Mouret didn’t really have a theme for this collection. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen an experienced designer let a season become a bit unraveled and lacking in continuity. Instead, Mouret calls this a “definition of myself,” and it would seem that he has a very firm grasp on who he is.

Dominating this collection is geometry; a very precise gathering of well-planned shapes and cuts all along very clear lines, that merge colors with fabrics and textures in ways that are meaningful and sincere. There are no accidents here. Every piece is very well thought out and very well put together. Ensembles have a deliberate direction to them that makes them extremely wearable and at the same time presents a look that is fresh.

Silhouettes are more fitted than not, though Mouret doesn’t get pieces so tight to the body that one doesn’t have room to move. Rather, it is more of the suggestion of shape that is frequently enough. Several of the pieces are sleeveless, which has been an underspoken trend this season, and in a few places he uses sheer sleeves with very clever embellishment to great affect. A set of very strappy skirts will require some careful attention to not get pieces caught in the car door or anywhere else as one moves about, which might make them a bit impractical for any environment that puts one in close quarters, yet they are undeniably attractive. Asymmetrical hems, which seems to pretty much be the standard this season, fall at or just below the knee, making several of the pieces very office appropriate. There’s not an abundance of outerwear in this collection, but the few pieces he does include are quite nice with bright red collars, and later on there is a formal cape whose geometric pattern makes it absolutely divine.

What stands out, and may or may not be something that actually makes it into production, are the black leather collars Mouret puts on every piece in the collection. These neatly folded, precise, pieces of leather may well come as accessories rather than part of any one ensemble. While they are certainly attractive and add a strong sense of cohesion to the collection, they may not necessarily be appropriate for all situations or, for that matter, fit with one’s individual personality. Still, they are extremely well done and, as accessories go, delightfully unique. Definitely an interesting alternative to all the large sphere-shaped baubles we’ve seen this season.

We couldn’t have asked Roland Mouret to give us a more pleasant and comfortable start to this Friday morning. His fall/winter 2014 collection is very strong, very wearable, and I think very accessible for a number of women. If you’re not familiar with the label already, I strongly recommend adding it to your shopping considerations for this fall.

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