15 September 2010

NYFW S/S ’11 report: Rodarte

What has happened at Rodarte? Have they thrown out their collections of horror films and books on witchcraft and started watching Wall St and Hannah and her Sisters? Laura and Kate Mulleavy seem to be preparing for a very smart, businesslike summer. After a pale/whitish vision for A/W the girls seem to have turned their back on many (though not all) of their trademarks – cobweb knits, shredded tulle and textural, floaty ensembles were all conspicuous by their absence.

The design duo’s choice of textiles were nearly all flat in texture and tailored, with mohair and gauze replaced by matte leather, silk and jacquard, the smoother surface of the collection inspired apparently, by ceramics and wood; “We were looking at wood carvings and how they were coupled with porcelain,” explained Laura, who noted that the lineup’s clean, spare shapes were an obvious conclusion. “We imagined porcelain silhouettes. And if we do wood panelling, that’s flat.” [WWD]

One thing that remained consistent to the sister’s aesthetic was layering. Looks such as huge high waisted Bay City Roller trews in soft blue plaids with a plaid blouse, or knickerbocker shorts with a structured-waist buttoned up jacket plus blouses, trousers, pencil skirts and patterned dresses galore – were all balanced atop INTENSELY desirable Nicholas Kirkwood metallic wedges.

To some people the word commercial is a compliment, but at the same time it can sound like a put-down. This collection was certainly not bland in the way commercial or minimal often denote, but the perfect balance for young designers wishing to be taken seriously in the market place. Perfectly wearable tailored separates for the buyers and customers, yet layered up and styled in a collage of patterns, prints and texture quirky enough to entertain the editors and long time fans of the brand. ALSO, the more conventional garmets on show here will be far easier to factory produce in large quantities, compared to the hand-finished dresses the label is known for, which enjoy a very limited distribution due to the hand-crafting necessary to complete them.

As for the rumours of keen interest in the young duo from the head honchos of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH . . . ? Surely they will have gone away from this presentation with a satisfied feeling that their hunch is paying off. Watch this space!


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