Kate and Laura Mulleavy are artists disguising themselves as fashion designers. And as is the way with artists, they create what they want to- fashion trends and styles be damned. This in turn means that their collections for Rodarte don’t always translate into traditional runway success stories that can be reworked into retail winners.
But this season, that was not the situation on their shattered glass covered catwalk. The sisters turned their attention to the sea and gave fashion a beautiful mermaid’s tale. They made a splash with a myriad of asymmetrical dresses, crafted out of iridescent fabrics, fishnets hemlines, intricate embroideries and an abundance of shimmering sequined “scales”.
However, the gowns, which emphasized the duo's preference for handicraft, still slanted towards a more artisanal and edgy approach to fashion. Where the duo got significant real world traction was with their outerwear.
When the models, their eyebrows delineated with piercing (think fishing hooks), showed up on the catwalk in oversized canvas and corduroy coats, buyers in the front row sat up in their chairs. The designers made the coats ethereal in their own right, by covering the pockets and sleeves in netting and the occasional smattering of glistening sequins. But they were still able to maintain the coat's viability as a true outerwear alternative. This is a point that has been an issue in the past for the duo.
If the coats found the sweet spot of being both fashionable and functional, some of the sister’s other daywear options also worked rather well. Their ruffled sweaters and semi-sheer, silk-chiffon button-up tops, as well as the high-waisted second skin pants will also surely find more then a few takers.
The result was a show which had a sirens call that will be hard to resist once this collection arrives in stores next season.