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16-02-2011
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wa wa woooooom... congrats!
Quote:
The most dramatic embrace of shades of summer was at Rodarte , where the Mulleavy sisters from Los Angeles had turned to the Big Country for inspiration. With the design duo’s cinematic eyes, the show was more the hand-woven fantasy of home on the prairie than the gritty reality. But as a romantic vision, it was the quintessential Rodarte mix of innocent beauty with a disturbing undercurrent.

Held in the modern space of the Gargosian art gallery, with bundles of neon lights as straw bales, the show opened with an ankle-length coat over a dawn-blue chiffon dress. It then took the buttery beige colors to make full skirts with a trellis texture or linear apron dresses that had appliquéd squares where front pockets might have been. That square vest motif was carried through to knitwear, emphasizing the sisters’ focus on handcraft.

Although much of the collection was linear, taking sweaters and narrow, high-waist pants as a rustic uniform, the prairie look culminated in floaty, sky blue chiffon dresses with ears of corn pushing up from the hemline.

“It was the idea of light changing — starting with dawn, midday and dark,” said Kate Mulleavy backstage, citing the 1978 movie “Days of Heaven” as inspiration.

As a collection, it was controlled and beautiful, with less fantasy once you de-constructed individual pieces as a patterned sweater, the slim pants or a light and lacy skirt. But, as ever with these designers, there was a dark undercurrent in the roll-in-the-hay hair and a pair of blood-red outfits that suggested that not everything on these great fashion plains was heavenly.
suzy menkes, iht.com

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16-02-2011
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Ah, so "Days of Heaven" was the direct inspiration / reference. Well, it does have "heaven" in the title so those of us who thought religious/spiritual were not too far off!

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16-02-2011
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^^^
mmm...i dunno about that...
sometimes a dress is just a dress...

:p...

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Last edited by softgrey; 16-02-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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17-02-2011
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they can do no wrong in my eyes!

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17-02-2011
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Lol soft grey, and a cigar just a cigar. I know, I know. But they said it - so "Days of Heaven" rewatch time for me...

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17-02-2011
  96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilhelmF View Post
Bittersweet feelings here... I'm sure glad they seem to keep working on a gradual evolution but as much as the usual Rodarte fan that I am, I'm not feeling this collection. Maybe it'll grow in me with time... I believe they are good show girls, so I have to see it in motion.

I feel that the inspiration is not as whimsical as it usually is, this whole 'Dorothy/Amish/Southern Americana' nostalgia ain't cutting it for me... and as much as everyone dislikes seeing big names thrown in other collections, I am getting some slight Marc Jacobs F/W 10.11 vibes here (but he captured that feeling better without getting too literal).

I'm not giving up yet, as I feel that the fabric selection is quite exquisite. The hair/makeup is quite lovely too. Even the venue seems interesting! So I really don't know why it isn't an instant love for me.
I'll hazard an answer - to what Rodarte might be losing - and see if we're on the same page?

Their signature continues to be this crafty, homespun, nature loving organicism. But there was a fissure between SS10 and AW10/11 the latter season marking a new direction along who's path they continue.

Those tough tribal warriors of SS10 are long gone. AW10/11 went more ephemeral and spiritual, more romantic. But still with that dark undercurrent. They have been gradually losing their fierce and their darkness, their edge.

This offering is, like Marc Jacobs AW10/11, in danger of drifting off into sentimentality or worse, costume. A bit like the Pre-Raphaelite movement in painting, there can be an edge in the romanticism of nature but if you're not careful it can become chocolate box schmaltzy.

The Little House on the Prairie look (I also felt The Sound of Music but this is Americana so the American reference is the better one) almost unavoidably suffers from twee conservative costumey sentimentality but I felt there was something here that rescues the collection - that there is still that undercurrent of darkness present.

That comes from the Days of Heaven reference no doubt (1978 doing 50's or straight past to Edwardianism is admittedly bang on) [The referenced Terence Mallick film is set in 1916 Texas] but I also saw something else here.

Layered onto the Little House on the Prairie/ Days of Heaven costumes, in just about enough looks, and early enough in the running order, were some pieces that had a slight nod, for me, toward Star Trek. It's in the raised diamond shape aspects at the sternum. (There's also a Princess Leia Star Wars look in there).

I don't know why but I started to think of Roswell and of people getting high on toad venom. I know, weird. But yes, I think the collection saved from being one-dimensional sentimentality in that there's an alien and a pyschodelic element to it. It's trippy. The eerie strangeness of AW10/11 has been pushed back but it's still there. And both those elements chime with the fashion moment with model look having taken on a more alien aspect with last season's new crop and the hallucinogenic references also to be found in SS11 continuing here.

The Mulleavy sisters have a particular sensibility toward place and light (The natural light cinematography of Days of Heaven is certainly not only beautiful but remarkable). My American geography is poor but having had thoughts of Roswell and hallucinogenic toads before I picked up the Days of Heaven reference I now find the particular breed of toad to be based most prevalently around Kansas. And Kansas, Texas and Roswell to all be situate in that Southern MidWest area and broadly along three sides of a diamond formation.

Days of Heaven, Wizard of Oz. Both essentially fairly trippy road movies. There's something in the air about the American road trip which the Rodarte girls have not been alone in taking.

And of course a road movie can be a fairly commercial enterprise even though essentially, at it's best certainly, it's a subversive genre.

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17-02-2011
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^ Nice take! You got "alien/star trek", I got "Catholic, virgin/whore", but either way, I think we can agree "trippy" and also with a dark undertone.

More, if Mallick is their reference, which they claim, there can be no doubt they've seen his *other* middle-American road movie "Badlands" in which Sissy Spacek does that amazing turn as a slightly dimwitted young "innocent", who wears a sort of light-hearted, even twee, 50s girlish wardrobe, at times evident in this collection, but who is also a character with an entirely "flat affect", almost robotic, no feelings (evident in the voiceover throughout), and who is, after all, traveling around the land with a serial killer as a boyfriend! (Natural Born Killers riffs on this film in more ways than one). "The Sound of Music", too, has a dark edginess, given the looming threat of fascism (roboticism?) at the end, and maybe even throughout.

So yeah, I'd agree with both yours and Menkes' take that the darkness is still here in this Rodarte collection, boiling under the surface of all this middle-Americana prairie girl stuff. The Rodarte sisters will hold onto that edge; it's part of who they are.


Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 17-02-2011 at 12:59 PM.
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17-02-2011
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i applaud the professionalism of these two women pushing their house into the mainstream of fashion by putting forward an absolutely mainstream and commercial collection, but i can't help but miss the dark moodiness we had from them in seasons past. the harder-to-digest collections really exhibited not only their skill but set them apart as designers not only in new york but worldwide. this stuff while not bad does not create the same mania that the other clothes did.

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17-02-2011
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comments from this thread were featured in tFS's NYFW coverage of the hits and misses of the day: http://www.thefashionspot.com/runway...0rodarte-f-w-1

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18-02-2011
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Rodarte - F/W 11.12 - Full Fashion Show (Exclusive on You Tube)


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19-02-2011
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gorgeous collection! look at that craftsmanship and the draped dresses!!
though some little aesthetic details are not really to my liking, but those beautifully cut coats and wheat print dresses out weight them by a million.

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20-02-2011
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i thought it look very days of heaven!!

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20-02-2011
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i really want the looong blue coat!

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24-02-2011
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Caught the show on Fashion TV and it was even better that I thought before. Loved everything especially the red outfits at the end.

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24-02-2011
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No. I wouldn't wear it.

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