London Fashion Week‘s SS19 season has been a real breeding ground for political fashion statements. Whether it’s in support of the gender violence campaigns, the specific sexual assault campaigns, feminist fashion as an entity, or sustainable fashion and responsibility, London Fashion Week is a melting pot and one thing it’s not is boring.
One designer known for his love of women and their shape and form is Roland Mouret, a red carpet designer extraordinaire who in the past few years has shown a softer side in his collections. Roland Mouret’s SS19 collection plays with an introvert sexuality that manifests itself throughout the collection. Drawing thematically from the 1974 first softcore porn film Emmanuelle, with its subtext that spoke for women to unapologetically own their sexuality, through to the global call for action presently from movements such as #timesup and #metoo, Mouret redefines eroticism and fortitude, ownership and individuality in a way that is empowering to women. Further inspired by tenacious women such as Emma Gonzalez, who demonstrate fortitude and confidence to speak louder and make change happen.
“I design to be relevant, not only to who we all are, but to the female body shape, social class and everything else that it touches. I am known for my love and I believe understanding of women, I might push them and challenge them, but I will never ask them to compromise.” – Roland Mouret
Mouret showed a collection featuring button-down pencil skirts, shoulder baring dresses and high waisted wide leg trousers with suggestive lace-up details. Liberation and control is juxtaposed in the freedom of movement with loose silhouettes and softly tailored power suits. Slits and exposed lace panels offer a tiny glimpse of thigh in stride, whilst ultra plunging necklines say this is my body, I’ll dress it for myself. Mouret may have stepped away from those very structured shapes which brought him out of the shadows and into the mainstream all those years ago, but that’s what makes this SS19 show so current, the ownership of femininity, the lack of a male gaze and the switch up by this designer. I can honestly say it was one of my favourite shows of the season for this very reason and I think it’s a movement that we’ll see more of well into next season and beyond as more male designers pick up the baton and follow suit.
Statement looks, in a summery pastel palette with graphic prints and bold stripes, are complimented with sensual silk rope-tie sandals and pointed lace-up mules. Collectively, the aesthetic at times pivots away from sexuality and is instead overcome with a pronouncement of incredible female independence. It’s definitely not new, but it is Mouret, evolved.
Mouret’s evolution of fluidity is reflected in slender, romantic silhouettes that hint at the curves of the body, challenging the aesthetic of a covered body and giving the woman the tools to reclaim the gaze from the observer. A lead in shifting our political culture, women can pursue and inherit strength in creating change. At a time where social, political and gender equality is being challenged, Mouret introduces an empowering collection for the contemporary woman whose dynamic voice is beginning to be heard around the world.