There are several descriptive words consistently associated with a Rodarte collection: feminine, ethereal, romantic, whimsical, all of which were clearly on the front lobes of co-designers and sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy as they conceived their first ever Parisian collection. Moving the Rodarte show to Paris, in the midst of Couture Week, has allowed the designers free reign to amp up the urgency of their oft-used adjectives, and allow their fantasies and imaginations take Rodarte to an even more elevated, detailed and yes, whimsical place.
Set in the blooming garden courtyard of a 16th century hospital, the most apparent theme throughout the collection was flowers. Flower printed garments were adorned with baby’s breath crowns, bouquets, shawls, corsages and hairpieces. The models themselves were live blooming vases of fresh, delicate flowers styled by Los Angeles floral designer Joseph Free, appearing as stylish wood nymphs and pheromonal fairies brought to life out of the pages of a Shakespearean script. This collection was designed to make your imagination wander, to remove you from the doldrums of everyday life and allow you to imagine a more beautiful existence, thus is the power of Rodarte, and couture.
The collection itself was an amalgam of sheer tulle, bustled ruffles, flowing floral prints and racy lace. In perfect contradiction, there were also accompanying leather studded moto jackets with matching baggy pants, and knee high pointed toe boots peeking out from the bottom of soft dresses like hidden daggers lying in wait. Although beautiful at its core, this collection was not designed with innocence in mind. Welcome bursts of exposed midriffs, breasts and matching undergarments added a flare of tasteful European indecency that cut the romance of delicate fabrics and flower blooms effortlessly.
With a cohesive collection that is diverse enough to go from a spring wedding to the red carpet, with perhaps an album release party in between, the Mulleavy sisters have descended upon Paris with their beautiful visions and no one wants to wake up from their dream.
Visual Editor OLGA SOROKINA