During this past month of stellar fashion – filled with eye popping prints, deep and saturated hues, military inspired numbers, crazy stripes, laser cut lace, over sized outerwear, blanket coats, metallics and on and on and on – I began to reminisce about one of my favorite collections of all time, Rodarte’s Fall/Winter 2008 Collection.
This particular fashion memory of mine was also prompted by a great article written about the lovely ladies of Rodarte in this month’s Vanity Fair. The article was published on the eve of what will most probably be one of their greatest fashion endeavors to date – collaborating with Frank Gehry on the L.A. Philharmonic’s upcoming rendition of the renowned opera, Don Giovanni.
I have been a mega fan of Rodarte, helmed by the eccentric and ingenious Mulleavy Sisters, since they first appeared on the fashion scene in 2005. They have been the darlings of the high fashion world ever since that debut collection, championed from their meager beginnings by Queen Wintour herself. If you look at their work, and read about their background, their inspirations, their process, you can be nothing but enchanted by them.
Some of my favorite facts about this zany design duo:
- Though they have achieved great success in their chosen field they still reside in the beauteous city of Pasadena, CA (with their parents no less!) where it all began, resisting the temptation to move to NYC or even just down the road to Hollywood or Beverly Hills.
- The pair are so close that they act almost as one – finishing each other’s sentences and sharing everything, even a single email address.
- They could care less about the politics and pom and circumstance that go along with being a part of the fashion world; and, do everything on their own terms,
- They have an encyclopedic knowledge of literature, art history, film, and the history of their beloved (and my beloved ) state of California, every ounce if which is incorporated into their designs.
- In order to fund their very first collection, Kate Mulleavy sold her vintage record collection for a whopping $16,500.
- They made paper doll recreations of their very first collection and sent them to fashion heavy weight, Cameron Silver, owner of the designer vintage haven Decades, in a tiny doll’s armoire.
- The name of their line, Rodarte, is their mother’s maiden name.
And, now to the initial subject of this post, Rodarte’s Fall/Winter 2008 collection. There is just something about this collection that pulls me in, enchants me and makes me want to don every single piece in it. Perhaps it is the Mulleavy’s crazy mix of inspirations, which came initially from Japan both it’s Kabuki traditions and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, it’s horror films. Inspiration also came from the famous string sculptures by artist, Eva Hesse and the traditional ballet costume a la Edgar Degas . . . and you know how much I love anything tutu inspired!
I covet all aspects of this collection from the slashed knit tights to the gorg. open knit sweaters and dresses, to the ballet inspired cocktail numbers to the use of both dark, gothic hues like ox blood red and then pale pastels.
And then there are the insane gowns, which flow ever so perfectly and look as though they have been water colored by a master painter.
Ooh! And we can’t forget the Ah-MAZ-ING shoes – a fantabulous collaboration with the shoe master himself, Christian Louboutin. Love, love, love the infinite number of ankle straps and the deadly spike and stud details.
Here are some of my fav. pics of this collection, which still inspire me to this day . . .
I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane.
I would love to hear about what fashion moments inspire you.
In The Seams