Rodarte Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 New York

The ability of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the creative minds behind the Rodarte brand, to take a series of reference points, pull them apart, examine their innards, and craft a collection that blends the fundamental elements of every component into a new being, is something startling to behold.

This season their area of exploration was all in the mind. “This collection for us was about medieval fantasy roll playing games,” said Kate Mulleavy after the show. Fantasy gaming is invented as much as it is played and it was starting point rife with possibilities.

In a node to the importance of the mind’s imagination the sisters' first few looks included colorful second skin tops imprinted with a close up of a brain. Layered on top of these were strapless and structural dresses crafted out of guipure, brocade and jacquard fabrics that brought to mind armor.

In fact the idea of armor (a very important element to have in fantasy roll playing) was a major theme running throughout the show. From jewel hued dress with sleeves that mimicked articulated armor and leather pants woven together with grommets and lace to sweaters constructed from knit squares and held together via metal rings; the clothing transmitted a protective vibe. Even the oversized fringe covered leather jackets looked right at home in the show. Because isn’t a leather jacket the modern equivalent of armor in a woman’s wardrobe?

And when the Joan of Arcs of today want to put down their armor and go to the king’s ball, well the Mulleavy sisters have thought of that too. Coming up with some winning medieval-esque eveningwear. In particular one deep blue short sleeve gown with a bodice covered in a latticework of golden metal embroidery that was calling out to be worn on a red carpet.

The sisters divulged that they themselves have never played Dungeons and Dragons or any other fantasy roll playing game but say a lot of their friends do. “We will be curious to hear what they say about our collection,” admitted Mulleavy. I bet any of those friends would be happy to have their character dressed in one of these Rodarte designs.

- Jessica Michault

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