The shearling dress, it was only ever a matter of time before we saw this proposed on the runway, the Rodarte option that appeared towards the end of their show is surely just the first of many. Following the prairie-licious spring summer 12 collection, stunning but perhaps in parts a little difficult for some women, this collection will surely walk out of the stores next winter because it feels more accessible. Inspiration wise the prairie is still here, as is an aboriginal print and lace – capturing the moment when man was still directly connected to the land – but the design and accessories take us off and away into the future.
Appliquéd dresses, hand moulded resin heels, hand printed silk and Alpaca fishermen’s sweaters all connect us back to the pre-industrialisation era that the Mulleavy sisters find so romantic. Taking us into the future are shell shaped sleeves, platform hybrid boots and the manipulation of materials such as wool crepe, Swarovski elements and double faced wool into shapes and weights that were impossible until industrialization got the motor running to where we are today.
Stand out pieces, there are a few, but the black and white, silk and wool woven Jacquard geometric coat (look 6) with a pagoda-esque shoulder line told us early on in the show that this was a collection with strong ideas. The circle skirts and later the wonderful, pumpkin belted suit should be big hitters for Rodarte next year which leaves just a last, tiny mention for the cute star clips that the models wore in their hair - the signature, wafty, feminine Mulleavy touch, trés Elle Fanning. The sartorial world of the Mulleavy sisters is a beguiling one, feminine yet sci-fi, at one with the land yet at the same time light years ahead...
- Sarah Hay