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Spanx made sexy? Roland Mouret tries

December 11, 2009 |  1:12 pm

The designer, who skyrocketed to fame in 2005 after designing the Galaxy dress, heralded as the ultimate figure fixer, famously dissed the ubiquitous 'suck-it-in' undergarments. Being French, he called them "Spank," and deemed them unsexy because they leave women no choice but to go to the bathroom to get undressed.

"Men love curves. And if a man could help to take off a Spank, it would become even more famous," he told the London Guardian newspaper earlier this year. "But women don't want to be seen unpeeling out of a Spank. My dresses are for undressing. We all dress up to undress."

Fast forward to now: Mouret is debuting his own line of "power mesh" slips for $475 at net-a-porter.com. And for romance's sake, they don't peel off, but rather unzip at the side.

Mouret_rage All the ladies at the Chateau Marmont were abuzz about them Thursday night. "They are Spanx times 100," said stylist Karla Welch, who looked fetching in a white vintage Victor Costa cocktail gown with short sable sleeves.

It's a smart move for Mouret. Shapewear is an unsaturated segment of the apparel market, and there's nothing women love more than shaving off the pounds without the work.

On Thursday night, the designer held court with a constellation of stylists, stars and models, many of them wearing his va-va-voom dresses. The occasion? Ostensibly to celebrate the new, exclusive Rainbow Collection of mini-dresses for Net-a-porter.com. But we all know it's also time to play awards show dress-up, which is why so many designers have been visiting L.A. over the last few weeks, including Zac Posen, Giles Deacon, Louis Vuitton jeweler Lorenz Baumer and Mulberry's Emma Hill.

At dinner, Mouret sat next to Demi Moore -- drinking a beer, God bless her, and looking fab doing it in the black Medusa dress. Devon Aoki wore the tangerine-colored Osu mini-dress, paired with a leather jacket. Heidi Klum, Amber Valletta, Lily Cole, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Zoe and Amanda de Cadenet were also at the soiree, dressed in RM finery.

Mouret2_rage Despite the downer economy, Mouret was in a good mood. Lucky for him, his company is backed by entertainment mogul Simon Fuller. The svengali behind the Spice Girls and the Beckham phenomenon, and the creator of "American Idol," Fuller's newest project is the recently launched Fashionair.com, which brings fashion and entertainment together in a meaningful way for the first time on the Web.

"We have the same belief that fashion will become entertainment," Mouret said, adding that his most recent runway show for spring 2010 was filmed using 28 cameras to allow viewers watching at home on their computers to see the finer points of his designs. "It's a starting point," he said. "In the future, technology is going to be the service of fashion. That's where Simon comes in. He's going to be one of the big players."  

-- Booth Moore

Upper photo: Designer Roland Mouret, left, and Demi Moore at the Rainbow Collection launch for Net-a-Porter held at Chateau Marmont. Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Lower photo: Model Heidi Klum. Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

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