Regardless of the surgeon-like precision of his cut (and the fortitude of his fans in trussing themselves up in corsetted cling-film tailoring) you need a good body to wear Roland Mouret. Perhaps this is where the inspiration originated for his latest collection, twisting his trademark draped dresses in an easier direction weighted towards not only daywear, but sportswear. His tailored jackets and skirts had a cowl or asymmetric fold about them to showcase double-face wool in grey, black or a brilliant go-faster swoosh of magenta, a loose hood wrapping the head and hands shoved in pockets. But don't be fooled - this felt like a distinctly fashion and peculiarly French take on 'Sportif' style: skirts wrapped tight, spindle heels soared high, and those hoods were open at the back like bourgeoise headscarves to avoid disturbing an impeccable chignon. There were touches of Nicolas Ghesquiere's athletic futurism to the stripped-back surfaces and some of the tailored shapes, but credit where credit's due, Mouret has been moving in a simpler, easier direction for a while now. Since founding his RM label, Mouret has made much experiment with multi-function garments based on systems of ferociously complicated gathering and wrapping - complicated to make, that is, not to wear. There was more of that gentle fabric manipulation today, swathing the body in muted lengths of flowing silk crepe de chine, streamlined of exteraneous detail, tucked rather than seamed for shape and tied up with a little bow. There was less visible structure than previous, hence the casual feeling even to hyper-luxe exits in velvet and silk, gloved and furred - but the ease belied both the internal structures of the garments, and the calisthenics necessary to hone the body beneath. Mouret swayed from this formula a little for evening, and for every fluttery raglan-sleeved frock cinched with nothing more sophisticated than a raw leather belt, there were short, sharp numbers embellished with oversized and overworked irridescent fan-shaped sequins. They stood out because they felt wrought, labooured and therefore more than a little out-of-step with the times, something which thankfully could not be said of the rest of Mouret's low-key but high-performance offering.
There was less visible structure than previous, hence the casual feeling even to hyper-luxe exits in velvet and silk, gloved and furred.