Roland Mouret on Two Decades of Red-Carpet Dressing
The designer skyrocketed to fame with the Galaxy dress in 2005, worn by everyone from Demi Moore to Dita Von Teese.
Roland Mouret owes a lot to Hollywood: The designer skyrocketed to fame in 2005 after designing the Galaxy dress, heralded as the ultimate figure fixer, worn first by Demi Moore, then Scarlet Johansson, then the world.
So he returned to Hollywood last week on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his namesake brand to say thanks with a small dinner to celebrate his first fragrance, Une Amourette, a moody mix of cardamom, patchouli, vanilla and pink peppercorn made with French perfumer Etat Libre d'Orange.
Mr. Robot’s Portia Doubleday, Aja Naomi King, Haley Bennett and OG fan Dita Von Teese came out in Mouret’s gorgeous shaping evening wear (“I still have a couple of Galaxy dresses in my closet—and I wear them,” said Von Teese). At each place setting, Mouret personalized a bottle of his new fragrance, which is available online now and will go wider after the first of the year.
Pret-a-Reporter caught up with the London-based designer to discuss his favorite red-carpet moments over the past 20 years, his success with offering extended sizing (up to a size 18) and his longstanding love of Hollywood.
When was the last time you were in L.A.?
I came last year, but to do a dinner like this was eight years ago. It’s fun when you have a birthday with your company to realize who has been important.
You owe a lot to Hollywood, yes?
My vision of fashion was based on the silver screen and trying to capture the actress in every woman. I was already attracted to L.A. as a child because I loved movies.
What in particular was influential?
Everything costume designer Adrian [Adolph Greenberg] did was so magical.
They just relaunched his collection in New York as a ready-to-wear brand. What do you think about that?
I’m not sure you want to relaunch that as a ready-to-wear brand. Recently, I loved the approach of Helmut Lang, which I thought was such a clever idea and so relevant to a cult brand, to have different people create different collections. Maybe they should do that with Adrian.
How long have you been offering extended sizes?
For seven years, and it started on Net-a-porter under the guidance of Natalie Massenet. I’m not a fattist. As the son of butcher, I have respect for bone, muscle and skin. I understand how to shape women. There is a customer around the world who has no opportunity for high-end fashion because of size, so there is a market and a need.
What has the red carpet meant for you?
What I love about the red carpet, since the starting point of my career, is it’s still an acting moment for an actress, that is her projecting a message. My relationship with Scarlett, it was such an amazing collaboration, and it was the first time I realized a woman wanted to define herself on the red carpet, that kind of Marilyn Monroe attitude, that it was a moment of creativity. My years of the Galaxy dress, it was worn by 30 or 40 actresses, including I don’t know how many Oscar winners, on the red carpet. But there is one picture that I’m completely in love with of Zoe Saldana in London, wearing my dress in front of a wall of photographs, you see shadow of her body through fabric, it’s incredible.
How did the perfume come about?
The woman I worked with, Daniela, the nose of the project, I had an amazing relationship with — a man and a woman creating a fragrance together. We tried everything on each other at the same time. I’m proud to have made a women’s fragrance that men can wear.