After writing about the "fashion celebrities" who try their best to become fully-fledged designers, it's high time to talk about a genuine fashion that matters. Rodarte, the couture house from Pasadena led by the Mulleavy Sisters has been turning the industry upside down for a decade now with its lace, ruffles & dark romantic experiments. There is no need for a 10-year celebration, the Sisters are always going forward, producing breathtaking pieces that are unique. Rodarte is the kind of brands that doesn't make a lot of fuss to exist but its beautiful clothes are definitely making some noise. The clothes are the best ambassadors of the brand. Season after season, there is an intriguing poetic storytelling in the Mulleavys' collections; you just have to look at the setting. More or less it is always the same: the fluorescent lights, the mirrors and crystals are this time blooming with real flowers for the Autumn Winter 2016 collection presented yesterday at NYFW. An ode to San Francisco drawing its inspiration from Art Nouveau and Romanticism.
|Pic by Alessandro Garofalo via Vogue.com|
This collection is somehow a voyage to the past & present as the clothes are referring multiple period of times. Strong, dark romantic beauties empowered by the black lips and unique real flowers ephemeral jewelries blossoming on the models' ears & head. Creating these objects is pure magic. "It needs to be like jewelry so it doesn't come off as another flower crown or another flower accessory, so my inspiration was to get more gold things and have pieces dangle so there's a movement to it", says the Los Angeles florist Joseph Free in charge of bringing to life this floral jewelry.
|Gif via Vogue.com|
The Rodarte Sisters are portraying beautiful & powerful women mostly wearing black and white toilettes all made by hand. We are definitely talking about couture craftsmanship when approaching one of the Sisters' complex designs. The sisters are experts in the matter of lace, ruffles, embroideries and flower decorations: it's part of the DNA of the brand and for them, it is the best way of expressing themselves. So you could expect a lot of all these embellishments in the AW16 collection. However, here, the Sisters are blurring, mixing, patch-working, experimenting, deconstructing, disrupting their designs to come up with a new silhouette. Think of the Art Nouveau vibes in the use of ruffles (on the garments & shoes) adorning and shaping, adding a lot of curves and lightness. Think of the patent leather jackets opening the collection, the multicolored goat coats or the bridal vibes of some white ensembles. What about embracing the dark side in the black ceremonial garments? Be frivolous in a pink lace jumpsuit or in a bias cut lace and chiffon dress or become some kind of flower ladies in mesmerizing printed pieces. The sisters are doing what they want to push the limits of creations, of beauty, of taste even further to the limits of conceptual & ephemeral (the jewelries made out of fresh flowers are the perfect examples). It's bold and ballsy! This collection is like a dream coming true. I know a lot of women who are dreaming of wearing a Rodarte dress for their wedding day or for any other exclusive and ephemeral moments of their life. The Mulleavy Sisters are always taking us somewhere, over the rainbow and after all, there's no harm in dreaming, it is so damn good!
Pictures by Jason Lloyd Evans for I-D
Words by Yann Sackville West