Today I’m asking myself: what is the meaning behind putting on a runway show? I want to question why fashion shows still exist as someone who has worked in the industry for more than two decades. I’ve always celebrated and embraced a collaborative spirit which remains a significant motivation for me this season. Rather than putting together my SS20 collection autonomously, I have incorporated the creations of other independent artists whose talents, stories and aesthetics have touched me. I want to give back what I have received as we simply cannot proceed without being generous, caring or conscious of the world that surrounds us. Roland x
You will see the jewellery designs of Marla Aaron whose work I immediately fell in love with. Her jewellery evokes that disruptive punk attitude mixed with extremely refined details through re-imagining the “lock”. I’m delighted to have men in the show again this season, each wearing sandals by K.JACQUES. The designs remind me of the South of France; they have a simplicity yet capture a careful savoir-faire that compliments the craftsmanship of my own designs. All of the hats on the runway come from ReHats – a small company based in Berlin. I love the products because they are recycled, creating something special out of materials that would otherwise end up as waste.
Off the runway, this season is a big moment for me personally as we launch a more sustainable ‘factory-to-retail’ hanger in collaboration with Arch & Hook and with the support of the British Fashion Council. The Arch & Hook BLUE® model is the first 100% recycled and fully circular hanger made from ocean plastics, providing an eco-friendly version to the billions of garment hangers usually sent to landfill after that apparel distribution process. Crucially the BLUE® hanger is recyclable and can be collected for re-use or re-manufacture into hangers over and over again.
As a company we have been supporting Maggie’s Centres over the last couple of years, inspired by the work the charity does with cancer patients across the country. Our shoe stock used for runway shows will raise money in a special sale at my headquarters in London, with 100% of takings going to the charity. The ethos is giving back; caring.
I’m very attracted to simplicity this season; showing less about what you own, perhaps even about who you are. When you pair a top with a trouser, there’s an elegance. That attitude continues through textural eveningwear; new volumes and a subtle mixing of fabrics; the American sportswear-inspired mood of sequin skirts; the workwear appeal of check suits; the double pleating on wide-legged trousers.
A designer should define silhouettes not just clothes: this season’s silhouette is the evolution and continuation of my work over the years. By incorporating tailoring and craftsmanship into my collections, I’m inviting you to play with the silhouette as a way to convey personal style. Talking about style, this collection takes inspiration from that 80s era in New York during the financial crack when the city almost went bankrupt. During those moments, we reinvent and define ourselves, changing fears into something positive that in turn brings newness. What is luxury in times of crisis? It’s style.
Guests including Billy Porter, Wallis Day, Sophia Hadjipanteli, Josephine de la Baume, Daisy Lowe, Jasmine Guiness, Ncuti Gatwa, Lady Kitty Spencer and Charli Howard wore Roland Mouret looks to attend the runway show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.