NYFW review: Rodarte fall 2009 collection

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NEW YORK -- They may not be couturiers in name, but sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy from Pasadena might as well be, considering the extraordinary handiwork that goes into each and every piece in their Rodarte collections.

Their fall show, ostensibly inspired by the work of photographer Ari Marcopoulos (copies of his moody black-and-whites were included with the show notes), was even more complex and textural than what they have done before.

The Mulleavys are the fashion dreamers and sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy it. The clothes reminded me of the Bay Area Art to Wear movement -- collage mini-dresses and reworked biker jackets in a patchwork of marbled leather, metallic linen, cotton tulle, marled wool and crystal netting, each one a technical marvel that left me longing for a closer look. They were worn with over-the-knee leather boots with straps that snaked up the legs.

The melancholy color palette was dominated by gray -- and gray never looked so good -- with touches of green, silver, brown and black. The designers continued to work with their experimental knits, creating shaggy looped and fringed cardigans and sweater dresses that you wanted to snuggle up with. The cocktail dresses, wrapped in hand-marbled silk chiffon ribbons wound around the body, are likely to be on every Hollywood cool girl’s red carpet wish list.


These are special clothes, produced in extremely limited quantities with astronomical prices. But oh to be one of the lucky ones able to have them. With this collection, I wouldn’t know whether to wear the dress or hang it on the wall.

-- Booth Moore


Photos: Rodarte’s fall 2009 fashion show

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