Rodarte Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York

Season after season Rodarte designer’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy create one of the most off the wall and thought provoking shows of New York Fashion Week. And they didn’t disappoint this time with a collection that felt closer to home and a bit more personal then some of their more recent outings.
 
Returning to their California roots, the designers used their hometown of Santa Cruz as the main reference point for the collection. The city’s college beach town vibe with its quaint seaside boardwalk amusement park and anti-establishment enclave of Hell’s Angels bikers, skaters and surfers- that most people are only familiar with thanks to the classic 1987 vampire film Lost Boys- imbued this show with its laid back but never the less rebellious vibe.


A murmuring of surprise could be heard in the audience when the first look circled round the Bureau Betak designed catwalk. Set with rings of vertical florescent lights, held in a very DIY manner, slotted into cement blocks, the runway gave off an eerie glow that help to enhance the severe yet beautiful collection. So that fabrics used on say that first provocative exit, which featured a black suede trench coat and glossy textured crop pants cut low to leave the hips exposed when worn with a black body suit, were given a stark relief.


The sister’s then proceeded to give their spin on the hallmark street styles of their city. For example the models, with their kohl rimmed eyes and mussed hair braided in sections, seemingly like an casual after thought, would show up in sleeveless nude jumpsuits with a transparent tulle back embellished with shimmering wings reminiscent of those favored by Hell’s Angels or flowing silk printed tie dye gowns finished off with quirky padded oversized bib collars. Even that 1980s style that most of us have tried to forget -acid wash denim- showed up on the runway printed onto satin and chiffon dresses.

As always the accessories had an important role to play in the show. Count on the beige ankle socks outfitted with tattoo art by Scott Campbell being a hit with those looking to get their photo taken on the concrete catwalk. While the barbed wire pieces, from headdresses and earrings to bracelets and belts, are destined for more long lasting fame.

This was not a collection that could be slotted easily into any particular style, era, or trend. And that is probably exactly what the designers were trying accomplish. The sisters are determined to stay true to their own unique voice. It is something that the fashion world, and New York in particular, needs a lot more of.

- Jessica Michault
 

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