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19-09-2009
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@ zazie ...
i'm not sure i got your point ...

what do you want those girls evoluate to ?
do you want their silhouette to evoluate ? or their technics ?
coz to me, though each collections shows the same technics and silhouette, they really evoluate in variations and mood.

this technics is what makes their success. so i feel like if they give up this, they won't be at top for longer.
you compare this "stuck" silhouette to rad ... i think this is pretty different.

with rodarte we're not only talking about a silhouette. there's obviously more with them (their particular technics - sorry but i'm a sucker for couture glossary and i'm not a fashion design student).

it's like saying to Buren "hey man you always do the same stuff ...". i know my comparison is not the easiest one. but you can't say Buren is boring because his always use the same vocabulary. his work is not about that.

i feel that's the same about Rodarte. they found their vocabulary (this particular technics) and now work around it, with it to show something particular and dress their target customers.

Rodarte is not Ralph Lauren or Prada. This is on another level. And that is what every editors or buyers like about them ...
I guess ...

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19-09-2009
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it would be interesting to see this collection sans the dreary hair and makeup, the arm tattoos, the bad lighting and the smoke... i wonder if a freshness would be seen?

that said, regardless of all those things, the main problem i see with rodarte is that, if you take away their patchwork technique, there is nothing. their sillhouettes are not interesting, they are ALWAYS pieces of fabric draped on a nude tulle body, which i think is a real issue. the sheer ammount of dresses in this collection is almost sickening, but i guess they have their target collection so they dont really have to worry about money this season?

my point is... they aren't innovative... in the least... they WERE before, but this has gone beyond refining a look to just plain riding a wave. there is never substantial change in their collections, but different fabrics with different styling. they never experiment with new sillhouettes (they did a few springs ago, remember those incredible lampshade skirts?) and they never create seperates anymore (last season was worse)

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19-09-2009
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Quote:
they are ALWAYS pieces of fabric draped on a nude tulle body, which i think is a real issue.
yes - i agree, that is the issue here. As much as I love Rodarte, and find their dresses beautiful, i wonder how much longer can they play at this *sticking beautiful things on delicately* game?

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19-09-2009
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If the concept behind this collection and breadth of imagination were described to me before having seen it, I'd expect so much... better. I like Rodarte; I like their fantastical nature and the fact that they seem to consider everything grounds for inspiration, at all times, while awake and probably while dreaming. The sisters Mulleavy remind me of Natasha Khan aka Bat for Lashes, with their want to bring so much fantasy into reality. And these clothes look SO texturally interesting, but it's true, they also look like mixed-media collages, which I'd rather hang on my wall than wear. And if I had the money (and desire for lavish spending), I'd probably hang one next to the fireplace or near an entryway. I really would. But until then, I have my misgivings about this on fashion terms... At least I can say it'd look good framed. /

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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessmess View Post
it would be interesting to see this collection sans the dreary hair and makeup, the arm tattoos, the bad lighting and the smoke... i wonder if a freshness would be seen?

that said, regardless of all those things, the main problem i see with rodarte is that, if you take away their patchwork technique, there is nothing. their sillhouettes are not interesting, they are ALWAYS pieces of fabric draped on a nude tulle body, which i think is a real issue. the sheer ammount of dresses in this collection is almost sickening, but i guess they have their target collection so they dont really have to worry about money this season?

my point is... they aren't innovative... in the least... they WERE before, but this has gone beyond refining a look to just plain riding a wave. there is never substantial change in their collections, but different fabrics with different styling. they never experiment with new sillhouettes (they did a few springs ago, remember those incredible lampshade skirts?) and they never create seperates anymore (last season was worse)
what's sad about this assessment remains how untrue it is: it took rodarte a while to catch its stride and it played around with a lot of more traditional "fashion pieces" in their earlier collections. why is it once an artist finds their true voice that everyone begs them to change it? how many collections did olivier theyskens put out at rochas without a single pant? no one asks stella mccartney to put on a collection devoid of boyfriend basics. i love what these girls do because they've managed to create something so true to their spirit that has managed to capture the imagination of the entire fashion world. does no one remember their older stuff?



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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
@ zazie ...
i'm not sure i got your point ...

what do you want those girls evoluate to ?
do you want their silhouette to evoluate ? or their technics ?
coz to me, though each collections shows the same technics and silhouette, they really evoluate in variations and mood.

this technics is what makes their success. so i feel like if they give up this, they won't be at top for longer.
you compare this "stuck" silhouette to rad ... i think this is pretty different.

with rodarte we're not only talking about a silhouette. there's obviously more with them (their particular technics - sorry but i'm a sucker for couture glossary and i'm not a fashion design student).

it's like saying to Buren "hey man you always do the same stuff ...". i know my comparison is not the easiest one. but you can't say Buren is boring because his always use the same vocabulary. his work is not about that.

i feel that's the same about Rodarte. they found their vocabulary (this particular technics) and now work around it, with it to show something particular and dress their target customers.

Rodarte is not Ralph Lauren or Prada. This is on another level. And that is what every editors or buyers like about them ...
I guess ...
nice of you to make a connection to Buren, berlinrocks
here's a quote from Agnes Martin on her own work. just another idea..


"Any material may be used but the theme is the same and the response is the same for all artwork... we all have the same concern, but the artist must know exactly what the experience is. He must pursue the truth relentlessly.”



so whatever this may mean to you...

3 seasons doingthis style.. according to style.com's archives. before that it's the cobwebs. and from the beginning you see them gradually growing an interest in *contrasting materials*.. placing one unlike fabric with another. it's at its fullest form at s/s '08.
it's hard for me to understand rodarte's process since i don't do it that way myself. i haven't met anyone who changes the mood of their design. that's what's usually the driving force. design changes, but the person behind the work is the same. only know of Randall Darwall who does the exact same technique in all his work and just variations in colour. he hasn't changed in years. but in fashion i'm not sure --i saw kokosalaki on TV say she is very focused on technique. and ghesquiere changes technique every season it seems... i wonder if this method is labelled "Formalism"
the ones that there seem to be more of, are ones with one vision or personal message. like yohji yamamoto, jil sander... "Expressionism." their work changes but you always know it's them. the same with agnes martin. also anni albers.

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Last edited by gius; 20-09-2009 at 04:41 AM.
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20-09-2009
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Ok, since this doesn't seem to die down, I'll elaborate.

No, BerlinRocks, I'm not the one who says what they should evolve into - *they* should be showing us that evolution, and I'm simply pointing out that they haven't. Before this "run", they were dreadful (to me at least), with their amateurish satin, flowers, and bows, and I would hope to see at least better constructed clothes, ideas, even taste, ok, subjective I know, but they can't even cut a pencil skirt with a straight seam, that is a *huge* problem.

And then the whole Rodarte distressed patchworking collage thing blew up, but I am not convinced as the collage-on-dress-form technique, though on trend, is a way to avoid basic tailoring, as can be seen on etsy with amateurs. OK, if they were original, the first pioneers with this trend, I wouldn't even mind, but they copied the Preens, Sophia Kokosalakis and Margiela Artisans, and no one remembers the originals anymore. The originators have since moved on of course, no self-respecting designer/artist would beat this one horse to death, they challenge themselves by pushing other boundaries while retaining their vision.

Alright, nevermind, this "derivative design" happens often in fashion, look at MJ and CdG (for which at least MJ received some flack), but on top of that, it's a few seasons in a row of the same old stuff over and over and now they're fashion's darling....incredible. chessmess nailed it, they're riding a wave (a very popular one) for as long as they can. This to me is the ultimate fashion hype.

There are those who have *originated* or pioneered a certain look, eg. Alaia, and evolved *within* that look. No one would question Alaia's ability or technique, but he innovates while retaining his core.

Look again at gius' "quote" - the theme and response is the same NOT because they should appear the same, or be repeated, but they must reach the SAME goal/experience, which is - TRUTH.

Seriously, read that quote carefully, don't just see the word "same", the key here is the word "truth". The SAME principle that guides the authenticity of all works is TRUTH.

I don't see any "truth" in Rodarte's work, the way I see it in Margiela's, eg. when Margiela stitched leather belts together to form a garment. Of course leather collages have been done before, but it's quite startling what Margiela did. That was a moment of truth by an artist. In Rodarte, I see an imitation of the "truth" uncovered by others.

If I had seen and appreciated their unique talent in other collections, as I had seen Preen's or Hussein Chalayan, I would overlook a couple of bad seasons, and they would earn my respect as did these others I mentioned, but I didn't. So nothing personal at all, I'm judging their work over the years, I wonder why criticisms of the Sisters' seem to be unacceptable - it becomes a controversy to say their work sucks and lacks authenticity. To me, their work really do, because of all the reasons listed, lack of originality, etc., and the photographic evidence is quite clear to me. Like MJ, they have a lot of fans and also some detractors, their work approach is not that different from MJ's.


Last edited by Zazie; 20-09-2009 at 05:33 AM.
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20-09-2009
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Quote:
If I had seen and appreciated their talent in other collections, as I had seen Preen's or Hussein Chalayan, I would overlook a couple of bad seasons, but I didn't. So nothing personal at all, I'm judging their work over the years, I wonder why criticisms of the Sisters' seem to be unacceptable - it becomes a controversy to say their work sucks and lacks authenticity. To me, their work really do, because of all the reasons listed, lack of originality, etc., and the photographic evidence is quite clear to me. Like MJ, they have a lot of fans and also some detractors, their work approach is not that different from MJ's.
not at all.
people can critize, especially when they have good argumentarory.

nice to read.

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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
not at all.
people can critize, especially when they have good argumentarory.

nice to read.

Aw...thanks. It's also subjective, seeing the "truth", as others may see "truth" in their work. I can't, it's hard to pin down why, other than to mention the fact that they found their "true voice" only after others have presented interesting collaged artisanal materials, i.e. not like something percolating in their subconscious...and that with Margiela, the artisanal pieces speak of a torn and haunted mind, and the authenticity comes through.

It's also weird for me as I would wear some of their better made pieces here, totally something I'd fancy myself in, yet I can't respect it, not with the same regard for those other designers. Same with Kane, cool clothes, but "hollow" to me.

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20-09-2009
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Wow this is not what I was expecting at all... but I love it!

The tribal tattoos complement the dresses perfectly. And I don't mind that the silhouettes are pretty much consistent with past seasons because they work.

However, I don't like the plaid in the first few looks but the leather is definitely killer. This collection is not their most wearable imo but they did manage to put on a great show .

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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zazie View Post

In the end, I guess I'm fed-up with seeing the same things over and over, whereas others may *like* seeing the very same repetition, it's quite subjective! :p
I was thinking about the one-trick-pony thingie today and came to see what was this about ... and yes on this collections it seems a bit of a re-hash from the previous ones ... I do think its a bit soon to say they are "stuck" on this aesthetic ... Im a positivist type of guy tho .. so there you go ...

The styling may distract a bit in order to separate this from the other collections ... but I thoroughly concurr ,,,:p

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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeijames View Post
what's sad about this assessment remains how untrue it is: it took rodarte a while to catch its stride and it played around with a lot of more traditional "fashion pieces" in their earlier collections. why is it once an artist finds their true voice that everyone begs them to change it? how many collections did olivier theyskens put out at rochas without a single pant? no one asks stella mccartney to put on a collection devoid of boyfriend basics. i love what these girls do because they've managed to create something so true to their spirit that has managed to capture the imagination of the entire fashion world. does no one remember their older stuff?

***Please do not quote images***

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im talking about their recent collections and aesthetic, which i think is where the issues lie. their earlier collections were wonderful because they continually refined their vision which i dont think theyre doing here.

and i would use the same argument of rodarte against theyskens, so thats a very bad example. the gown collection before his last made me slightly furious with how unrealistic is was, so, i would say the same to him. dont think that i am biased towards bigger names because i'm not, especially when rodarte would fit under the *bigger names* category nowadays.
besides, theyskens shows alot more range of techniques EVEN in his all dress collections than the rodarte sisters do.

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20-09-2009
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Zazie, your posts have been amazing throughout...

The atmosphere and the tribal tattoos were definitely used to detract from the repetitive nature of the works. If the Mulleavy's were pushing a look that wasn't as arresting as this collage aesthetic, people would have been fed up a long time ago. The fact that this aesthetic is so 'of the moment' but still very personal and sincere in terms of detail and rawness, means the Mulleavy's will get a pass for many seasons to come. I can literally hear the fear circling in their minds in regards to the idea of progressing. One wrong move can send all the 'right' people in the opposite direction. I feel that they've lost their desire to grow and mature as designers. In my mind, 'progressing' is not one in the same with stripping one of their identity and personal truths. It's more or less expanding upon a thought and giving it the strength to grow while still staying true to what is at the core - their passions and beliefs.

It is very hard to be subjective when an aesthetic appeals greatly to your own ideals of beauty, but it is necessary to do so in order to avoid banality and stagnation. Looking at other young talents like Helena Horstedt and Sandra Backlund, for instance, who like the Mulleavy sisters have very distinct aesthetics/ideals, but they still somehow manage to progress, refine, and build upon those very ideals. All while making them even more prolific and inspired than they were the first time around. And with less media-exposure, too.

Media-exposure is not a bad thing. It's great actually, but it must not dictate your actions or the course of the work. I feel that that is the case here but it is understandable in times like these.

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20-09-2009
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rodarte can do no wrong for me!
i really do like it.
i understand the criticisms, though. but i, myself, love love love it.

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20-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessmess View Post
im talking about their recent collections and aesthetic, which i think is where the issues lie. their earlier collections were wonderful because they continually refined their vision which i dont think theyre doing here....besides, theyskens shows alot more range of techniques EVEN in his all dress collections than the rodarte sisters do.
we experience a bit of a disconnect because i don't associate those looks with their "earlier" collections as if they've designed for many many years. they're just starting out. the looks i posted weren't from 1995, but from 2007. i don't know of a single person -- in their real life -- who has completely changed the way they get dressed day-to-day in two years so i think it's sort of unrealistic for us to expect that radical of a change in four or five seasons. for many of us, we believe in the incremental change of design that comes in the beautiful changes in detail. (and if you look in other creative industries, you don't see RADICAL changes coming from the same artists each year: coldplay doesn't release a heavy metal album and then a smooth jazz album and then a disco album).

also, it's not like they've done another collection of nothing but cob-webby knits. they've moved forward again. and i still like those cob-webby knits because they still sell! and they used different things than they did last season: they could've stuck with some of the leathers as we all know that's a cash cow, but they didn't!

finally, we have to allow for the role of economics in this discussion: money fuels creativity. the reason some designers have the leeway to experiment with all manner of technique and textile comes in the fact that they're given more money -- by their investors or the houses that serve as their benefactors -- to produce their collections. it's a little more personal when you consider that if these girls fail, they don't necessarily get another shot. sure theyskens can experiement at rochas because if they don't like what he's doing, it's just a job not his own personal line.

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