Jeffrey Deitch bringing fashion house Rodarte to MOCA Pacific Design Center


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When Jeffrey Deitch took the reins of MOCA last year, he expressed a desire to reenergize the museum’s satellite space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. In June, he staged a James Franco/’General Hospital’ event at the PDC, which brought out the TV cameras and quite a few Franco fans. Now, Deitch is bringing the über-cool house of Rodarte to the PDC in what is expected to be a fusion of art and fashion.

Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, is a fashion line whose expressive, sometimes ethereal creations frequently find their way onto the lithe bodies of celebrities during award shows and other red-carpet events. ‘Rodarte: States of Matter,’ scheduled to run March 4 to June 5 at the PDC, will be the company’s first West Coast solo exhibition.


The Museum of Contemporary Art said the exhibition will feature pieces from Rodarte’s spring 2010, fall 2010 and fall 2008 runway collections, plus original ballet costumes that the Mulleavys designed for the movie ‘Black Swan.’ The museum expects the show to feature about 25 pieces, which will be installed as a series of ‘interrelated conceptual vignettes,’ both static and in motion.

Rodarte was the subject of an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, titled ‘Quicktake: Rodarte’ that ran in early 2010.

In an interview from her downtown L.A. office, Laura Mulleavy said that they received a call last year from Deitch, who had attended one of their shows, asking if they would be interested in doing an exhibition at MOCA. The sisters ultimately sat down with Deitch last summer just as he was assuming his new job at the museum.

Laura Mulleavy said the MOCA show will feature garments with a minimal color palette, mostly black and white. She said that whereas the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition featured a backdrop that was an extension of the clothes, the MOCA show will have a backdrop that is more interactive for the viewer and the individual garments. Rebecca Morse, MOCA associate curator, said in an interview that the MOCA exhibition is intended to take Rodarte pieces out of the display world and to show them as art and sculptural objects, focusing on how individual creations are put together.

The MOCA exhibition is being created by French designer Alexandre de Betak, who has collaborated with many of the world’s top clothing lines on his signature brand of dreamy, highly theatrical fashion shows.

-- David Ng



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Photo (top): Laura Mulleavy and Kate Mulleavy. Credit: Gary Gershoff / Getty Images

Photo (bottom): an item from Rodarte. Credit: Autumn de Wilde