Rodarte: A Runway Fairytale
If anyone could take a childhood fairytale and make it come true the Mulleavy sisters can. With out a doubt this dynamic duo is unstoppable when it comes too flirtatious clothing that is slightly edgy. Kate and Laura Mulleavy took their liberal arts degrees from theUniversity of California at Berkeley, turned up their creative juices and established Rodarte, in 2005.
These California girls packed up their belongings in the spring of 2005 with nothing more than a few dresses and coats stuffed in their suitcases. A week after arriving in New York City, they revealed their new founded collection to almost every major fashion editor and retail buyer within the five boroughs as a result Rodartewas born. The first collection, comprised of 10 hand-finished pieces, appeared on the cover ofWomen’s Wear Daily within days of Kate and Laura’s first trip to New York City. A few short months later they presented their complete collection during New York’s Fashion week. Since then celebrity beauties such as Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Obama, and Reese Witherspoon have all been spotted wearing Rodarte.
Last season, the girls were inspired by the sun-kissed great American plains. This season the sisters created a collection that was one part Sleeping Beauty and another part Vincent van Gogh. The sisters explain that they fell in love with the purple and green colors in the 1959 animated Disney classic combined that with the colors they saw in van Gogh’s paintings.
“The collection fittingly included a mix of easy-on-the-eyes colors like Disney character-appropriate pale purple and turquoise, and yellow bringing to mind Van Gogh’s famed sunflowers, but there were also more moody purples and blues perhaps in nods to the artist’s darker works,” stated the fashion spot. It’s undeniable that Vincent van Gogh’s colors are powerful, and not just the purples but also the blues and yellows of his sunflowers. The colors that the Mulleavy sisters use in their 2012 collection are often hypnotic on the runway.
When it comes to Rodarte, it’s all about the details for Kate and Laura. From the makeup and shoes down to the belts and eye-catching pleating. These sisters have their hands on every part of the designing process creating off the shoulder cocktail dresses combining princess-like silhouettes with the grid of starry night. The Rodarte 2012 collection includes flirty-stripped skirts with gathered fabric at the top, cropped pants, and color blocked knit sweaters to balance out the avant-garde fashions. “The fifties prom dress silhouettes, nipped at the waist, with all the action at the shoulders and the flaring hems, seemed pitched so resolutely in the past,” states style.com.
Since the sisters began in 2005, the Rodarte collection has been featured in many exhibitions including the solo exhibition at theCooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2010 and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2011. It has also been included in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of FIT in New York. The sisters have also designed and created the ballet costumes for the Academy Award winning film Black Swan. Laboring endlessly over every detail of their romantic dresses has surely paid off. The world’s premiere retailers including Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, and Net a Porter stockRodarte globally. From designing knitwear for the 2010 Winter Olympics to creating what women wear on a daily basis these sisters can do no wrong.