HE IS a leading light of the fashion industry whose clothes have graced red carpets all over the world after shooting to success with his iconic “galaxy” dress.
But yesterday legendary designer Roland Mouret took a break from dressing the A-list for a visit to the Capital to gain a special insight into life at Maggie’s Edinburgh.
The visit followed a special draping session at Carlowrie Castle – organised by Maggie’s fundraiser Lisa Stephenson raising an astonishing £71,000 – in which Mouret gave a masterclass in how to handle different fabrics.
The Frenchman, who broke onto the fashion scene despite not having any formal training, said he wanted to learn as much as possible about the struggles faced by those with cancer.
“I’m entering a part in my life where I want to give back,” he explained.
“How can I be a designer dressing up the outside if I don’t learn about the inside journey of a woman?
“My journey is just starting. I don’t pretend I know the answer but I am willing to be on that side and to learn from the experience of people with cancer.
“You feel so humble – I know I can say a little story [and] that we are all going to laugh and that I think is powerful.”
Lisa, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer in April 2011 and who has since dedicated much of her time and energy into fundraising for Maggie’s Edinburgh, was overwhelmed when Roland accepted her invitation.
She said: “Maggie’s has been with me every step of my own cancer experience, giving me hope even in the darkest days, so I am always delighted when opportunities arise which allow me give something back – and Roland flying to Edinburgh especially to be guest of honour at our event at Carlowrie Castle yesterday, and then to see what incredible warmth and support is available at Maggie’s Edinburgh today, has been simply extraordinary.
“I can’t thank Roland and his team enough for all their generosity, kindness and understanding. It has been wonderful having him here.”
As well as having a tour of the centre – which provides vital emotional and practical support to those affected by cancer – Mr Mouret shared fashion tips in a group discussion with centre visitors.
He was joined at the session by acclaimed make-up artist Damian Garozzo and fashion journalist Patrick Cabasset.
On how to approach choosing what to wear, Mr Mouret told the group not to be afraid of expressing their emotions – whether good or bad.
“Clothes are a language without words – we read your body with what you are wearing,” he said.
“Use it as a language with the bad as much as the good. Never avoid the bad – the bad exists, the bad is acceptable, it is on the table.”
The designer told the Evening News he was humbled by his visit and how welcome he had been made by the team and visitors alike.
He added: “It’s always inspiring when people push you to consider something you forget which is our mortality.
“It’s inspiring to see all the people going through it and how they are acting.”
His visit comes as preparations continue for a £1.2 million extension, which will enable the Edinburgh centre to help an additional 5000 patients every year.
It has been nearly a year since the Evening News teamed up with Lisa Stephenson to help raise the cash, with the Buy a Brick appeal winning support from all over the city.