Rodarte had the pleasure of commemorating its 10th anniversary on the stage of New York Fashion Week. The ready-to-wear collection created for fall/winter 2016-2017 stayed true to the brand’s aesthetic due to founders Kate and Laura Mulleavy maintaining power at the helm of the design. The stage was set, as created by Alexandre de Betak, and models were styled and ready to walk the runway to music, which sometimes turned to that of Judy Collins’ covering artists like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. The clothes themselves were loosely inspired by Berkely, where the sisters completed their college degrees, but traveled via a dark design scheme.
The overall essence of the Rodarte fall 2016 RTW collection could only be described as trancelike, as the looks were so embedded within fantasy that it was easy to forget the intent of this being a ready-to-wear line, and not a costume parade for the latest Tim Burton film. The way the outfits were put together made everything appear more costumey, although further dissecting the looks shows that quite a few of the pieces were actually quite commercial. So the presentation was a bit over the top – but so much is to be expected from the label.
Everything was grungier than in past seasons, although it maintained a level of naturality that always manages to arise. And despite the undeniable demented tones lining the collection, everything managed to feel just a little bit nostalgic. Like back to childhood, when everything suddenly became the target for dressing up, and glamour was based on the amount of ruffles you could hike up around your frame. It is interesting, the way the sister designers at Rodarte are able to ensnare the audience with these two juxtaposed feelings.
The models were styled by NARS Cosmetics worker James Kaliardos, who took the time to inform WWD of the decisions behind the makeup. It seems his concept for the models went along perfectly with the clothes in the collection, and was executed perfectly to boot. It’s ethereal, but tough,” Kaliardos told WWD. “The whole look is pretty, but it’s something stronger… a ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of look.” And with that in mind, the makeup was able to successfully finish off the intensity featured in the apparel.
The looks that stormed the runway were most stunning in varying shades and silhouettes of lace, satin, and furs. But this trend was broken up when thick leather pieces with forcibly scrunched-up arms were added into the mix. There didn’t seem to be too much method to the madness that ensued, but there was a lot of excellence that came as a result.
Kirsten Dunst was the most notable face in the front row for this show. She is quite possibly the brand’s most loyal follower, and she never fails to talk the Mulleavy sisters up at any possible moment. “They tell such a unique story, there’s no one like them. Every time it’s a surprise,” she told WWD. And this season was a particularly shocking surprise, with its eerie, dark characteristics, so Dunst likely left the show feeling particularly satisfied this season, seeing the looks she’ll be sporting when the collection is released for fall. And the actress’s loyalty is rooted in more than just a love for the released apparel. In fact, the Mulleavy sisters wrote and directed upcoming film “Woodshock” which stars Dunst.
“They’re two of my best friends,” she said of the designers. “So it couldn’t have been better to honest.”
Photos courtesy of Vogue