"FOR me, the dress is for the lady, the zip is for the partner."
Stirring words from the influential French designer Roland Mouret, famous for long zips snaking down the back of his dresses.
Mouret is the man who drew a firm line in the fashion sand with his now iconic 'Galaxy' and 'Moon' dresses which were among the most talked about, most photographed and most fought for dresses in retail over the last few years.
The quick talking Lourdes-born designer is a mine of practical advice and, in contrast with so many of his colleagues, loves designing for women who enjoy showing off their curves.
To get ready for the party season, Mouret recommended that Irish women should pamper themselves, enjoy who they are "and don't look at yourself in the mirror naked, you're going to hate a lot of bits and bobs".
The biggest mistake, he cautioned, was to "over- estimate hair and make-up and underestimate the shoes. I think a good dress has to be with the right high heels. It doesn't have to be too low, too high but it has to be the right high heel. It's all about the movement of the silhouette.
"You do the hair or you do the make-up but don't do the two at the same time. I think it is so much more elegant and so much more relevant to the identity of a woman when she's not too far away from herself," he said.
A genius at tailoring and placing strategic darts, Mouret maintained that the three important things in a fitted dress were neckline, sleeve and length.
He insists that women are practical and want to be in control. When it comes to necklines, they prefer sharpness over girly so men actually "talk to their faces and not to their boobs".
"Everything about the Galaxy dress was based on understanding what women want," said Mouret.
He recommended that if you don't like your bottom, wear a dark colour because if you choose too light a fabric, "you are going to see what you don't want to see".