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Roland Mouret debuted his spring 2011 and Custom Collection at Bergdorf Goodman yesterday and Racked's own Jena Glick sat down for a cuppa with the much-beloved—A-listers and celebs can't get enough of his sleek, understated-luxe dresses and figure-flattering cuts—British designer to find out what's developed since Mouret bought back his name this past fall.
Have any celebrities already asked to borrow pieces from this collection?
Mouret: I don’t know! You know, it’s a thing—celebrities, they love my work and I don’t follow it to that level of every piece they are buying or wearing. But, I’m sure it will be quite successful in the long term.
What are your plans for menswear? We read that you’re opening up a flagship store in London.
Mouret: It’s going to be my first space in London and it’s going to be quite exciting to create, with brick-and-mortar, a reality of the space around the clothes—especially with menswear. Womenswear is like a teenage daughter. Menswear is like a baby, and you really have to nurture it to a level to fit it and to make sure it is not going to be, you know, you have to take care of it, like a baby.
Can you tell us what this baby, your menswear, will look like?
Mouret: It’s my vision. It’s what I want to wear. Most of it is what some of my customers asked me, saying ‘How do you see my husband, my boyfriend wearing it?’ And it’s something that was quite interesting to approach because I thought it was going to be more like a business. It’s not, it’s emotional to make menswear. The details are different. Men are shy and you can’t push them to face what they don’t want to face and you have to give them time to learn what they want to learn, but at the same time you have to be there in their life. I was quite interested to do a collection for them, like I said I am the guinea pig of my collection. By wearing it, I’m learning what is right and wrong for a man’s body.
Who are you wearing right now?
Mouret: J Brand jeans and the rest is me.
So who is the ideal woman and ideal man that you design for?
Mouret: They don’t exist. Have you found the ideal man in your life yet? Because I don’t think they exist, as much as I would love for them to exist. It’s more of the privacy between two people that I find idyllic. I like when two people really like themselves, that’s an amazing game between them. An outfit is like food, like a good dinner by yourself is a good dinner, but a good dinner with someone you love or like is momentous, it’s memory, and something you’re going to cherish. It’s the same thing as borrowing a jacket from your boyfriend, or his jumper, or pulling the zipper on the back of a dress that I know a guy would really enjoy for his girlfriend and find it really sexy, but not demeaning. It’s little things like that that I work around to understand how a couple enjoys their privacy and I put little tools for them to play with.
What do you think that Kate Middleton should wear to marry Prince William?
Mouret: A dress.
If you were to design this dress, what would it look like?
Mouret: I would not design a dress for her. I think she should go to someone who would do an amazing wedding dress. I think she should go to someone who is specific with wedding dresses. It depends on the craft you have. I don’t have the craft—I do wedding dresses, but I’m not specialized in that. But, when you’ve been working years for it and you do amazing wedding dresses, if you do her wedding, you would love to dress her and I wish her to find the best dressmaker to have an amazing wedding dress. But I think she knows what she wants and she’s got a start already on her own and it will be interesting to see how it will be quite subtle about her. I don’t think it will be a meringue dress. It will be more slender.
Who is your favorite designer? Who do you like to wear?
Mouret: Designers, we’re funny. We do things mostly because we need them for us. As a women’s designer, I like a lot of people. I respect this business because it’s hard to be a designer and the only way you can be a designer is by talking about yourself. Someone like Miuccia Prada, I love her to bits because I love her identity. I love what she’s doing because nobody can do it the way she is doing. Nicolas Ghesquière, Balenciaga, it’s the same thing. Even the one I don’t like, I respect them for who they are because that’s where they come from. My love with someone who has influenced me a lot was Alaia. Alaia was someone who when I knew when I was young, I was inspired by him. He’s a mentor for me. It’s more that way that I will talk about Alaia, as a mentor, or Miuccia as a mentor, but the biggest one was Coco Chanel.