One gets tired of endlessly repeating the phrase 'mid-century couture' but, thanks to last season's seismic Jil Sander show, it seems every designer has cracked the spine of 'McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion' open to B, C and D - Balenciaga, Cardin and Dior, in case you wondered.
Roland Mouret's been on that couture trip for a decade now: he was a Frenchman in a very edgy late nineties London scene when he started his career, and that idea of deconstructed hyper-construction - a fancy way of saying a Jacques Fath looky-likey frock with a raw hem - was how he marked his offerings out. He's back in Paris now, the home of couture, so there's more than adequate chance for him to indulge his love of that pinched in, pinned-up forties stuff.
For Autumn/Winter 2011, however, Mouret continued along his path of loosening up. Witness the fluid palazzo trousers and wide-legged shorts that populated his collection, above T-bar Ruby Keeler tap-shoes. Some of those trousers looked fit for Katharine Hepburn, especially the exit that belted them over a blue oxford shirt with a faultless trench - and there was a feel of off-duty, unbuttoned glamour to much of the offering. That signature Mouret body-tugging dress had a touch of ease in a pleated neckline, others with a single button fasted loosely across the cleavage as if about to pop open.
It was nice to see the Mouret woman looking a little less 'done' than usual - how done can you come in cropped denim trousers and a mossy melange-knit cardigan? Even when she was glamour incarnate in tobacco or blush-pink silk crepe, there was a sexy billow of movement to a caped back or loosely-knotted halter. Evening was where that really took off, namely in the closing trio of poison-green gowns tucked, rucked and pinched around the body, fabric fluttering around each and every curve. Did someone say result wear? These redefined the term.