“This season, values over trends shape my collection. Firstly, the value of supporting social change, namely sustainability in all its definitions, is at the heart of my collection in a time where the process of creating clothes carries with it a personal responsibility. In the global marketplace of the future the price of every product must tell the ecological truth. Secondly, celebrating the value of collaboration and connectivity is the very essence of my show. And lastly, the value of creating a collection with longevitiy, bringing together pieces from pre and main to create a collection which evolves throughout the Autumn Winter season.”
The mood of the Autumn Winter collection recalls early 1980s London in both attitude and values – a time defined by extremes, wide-reaching social change resulting in a politically-charged creativity. This 80s politicised outlook moulded Mouret, imprinting on him, and layed the groundwork for his exploration of the social and environmental responsibility which comes as a luxury designer today.
As a brand, Roland Mouret has critically examined its own sustainable practices in an effort to promote greater transparency within the industry. From this season, the core fabrics (equating to 54% of the outer fabrics buy) will be fully eco-friendly. Going a step further, Roland Mouret plans to be carbon neutral within the year through offsetting the brand’s remaining negative carbon footprint. Following on from last season, Roland Mouret continues the collaboration with Arch and Hook, combatting the ‘factory-to-retail’ hanger crisis. Having swapped all the hangers within the company, Mouret now hopes to take the #SwitchtoBlue campaign more widely and promote urgent industry change.
The dialogue between creativity and collaboration remains one of the central values of the show, giving a platform to young brands with innovative creative processes and important ethics.
For AW20, Roland Mouret spotlights two young brands. Firstly, Dear Frances, whose shoes and boots walked the show, leads the way as a socially-conscious business. As a direct-to-consumer brand, Dear Frances utilises sustainable processes to slow down the fashion cycle. Secondly, Bottletop, whose signature chain mail accessories are defined by sustainable, upcycled metal ring pulls complement the collection. Additionally, the Bottletop Foundation empowers disadvantaged young people through health education and vocational training projects.
Roland Mouret was also inspired by the creative process of stylist and friend Judy Blame. Bringing together unlikely contrasting elements; such as recycling broken pieces from the artist James Webster’s last exhibition – Martyrs – into brooches or reusing Marla Aaron pierce-less ear clip, revamped with reclaimed wood from the beach. The resulting jewellery exemplifies the 80s punk attitude while retaining the message of collaboration and recycling at the heart of the show.
This defiant outlook of the 80s in a grim reality of Thatcher Britain is captured by the inscription ‘your lies are not my dreams’, a motif which is found emblazoned across shawls and concealed as a subversive pinstripe on androgynous suiting. Tailoring is staunchly urban, evoking strong 80s silhouettes with wide-shouldered blazers.
Together with pieces from pre-collection, such as light chiffon-organza dresses and hammered silk jackets, juxtaposed with heavy capes and blazers with languid draping and luxurious fine-knit polo necks, the collection has a longevitiy and timelessness which evolves throughout the long winter season. As separates they are season transitional, combined they shield from inclement weather. The resulting collection unites femininity with a practical wearability.
Guests including Arizona Muse, Mimi Xu and Joely Richardson attended the show wearing Roland Mouret.