Arts and crafts

Maybe it's a reaction against L.A.'s jeans and T-shirt culture, but Pasadena sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte have ushered in an era of high craft in fashion. Rodarte's cobwebby dresses -- collages of burnt plaid cheesecloth, sandpapered silk, leather and lace -- and woven leather braid skirts and vests, were a marvel. (Phillip Lim's take on the collage dress was more commercial, with sculptural accordion pleating, draped lace and sequin panels.) Unusual fabric treatments and woven effects are part of the trend too. Carolina Herrera offered a sinewy, rope weave vest; Chado Ralph Rucci, a braided leather jacket with tassels at the hem; and Diane von Furstenberg, a black macrame coat. L.A. designer Juan Carlos Obando's rust-colored silk, slit-front skirts and sculpted jackets were broiled and waxed to make them look as if they had been weathered by the desert sun, and his short dresses were covered in curving micro pleats in desert hues. Koi Suwannagate, also of Los Angeles, covered dresses and knits in handmade organza flowers and embroidered lotus flower scenes. Pictured: Rodarte's spring 2010 runway. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times
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