Rodarte: Pasadena-raised fashion designers bring Arts and Crafts style to New York Fashion Week

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Rodarte began in Pasadena, and the sisters behind the Los Angeles-based fashion label are once again drawing oceans of praise at New York Fashion Week. For their spring 2011 collection, Laura and Kate Mulleavy balanced their legendary streak of dark whimsy with wearable, well-structured, imaginative pieces, making this their most approachable showing yet.
Here’s what top fashion writers and critics are saying about the Mulleavys latest collection, which draws inspiration from the natural beauty of California:
“California dreamin’ has always been part of the story for Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters who have more often focused on blood-stained streaks from horror movies. But this time the duo looked beyond their Los Angeles studio and went back to their suburban Pasadena, California, roots. … Arts and Crafts have long been a strong focus in California. Rodarte has always been drawn to the handmade and artisanal, but this show was a fine example of designers moving their own ideas forward to become both more accessible and more desirable.”

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On the lookout: Rodarte for Target

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The Rodarte for Target line is among the most anticipated of year. By now, we’ve come to expect no less from the Mulleavy sisters — the dominating fashion duo who hail from Pasadena — especially after their coup d’tat against serious heavy hitters at New York Fashion Week in September.

The Target line drops just in time for holiday shopping on Dec. 20, and the Internet world has been practically frothing at the mouth to get a glimpse of it.

The first (authorized) looks are finally trickling in, thanks to a fresh round of fashion mags hitting the stands with December issues — and editorial spreads featuring the collab line.

Lucky Magazine’s blog has a compilation of links where you can get your gander on and start planning your New Year’s Eve ensemble. (Photo at right, from Teen Vogue via Lucky: Actress Dakota Fanning in a leopard-print mini dress by Rodarte for Target)

We’ll have more from this line in the winter issue of Rose Magazine.

(Photo via Lucky Magazine and Teen Vogue)

Top fashion critics heap praise on Pasadena-born Rodarte following New York Fashion Week showing

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The New York Times Style Magazine-run blog The Moment is keeping an unofficial-official Scorecard for New York Fashion Week, and like we said in our previous post on Pasadena’s (most ever?) dynamic fashion duo, Rodarte is sweeping up accolades for its Tuesday showing.
Alison S. Cohn of The Moment puts it this way:

“Tuesday’s shows provided an object lesson in how to play the Scorecard rankings game. Here’s a tip: avoid showing on the same day as wool cobweb-cheesecloth-macram creating, CFDA Women’s Wear Designer of the Year award-winning duos. If you don’t, even the finest djellaba draping can come across as, well, a little merchy.”


Check out the round-up of praise collected for Pasadena-native sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy — the heavy hitters behind Rodarte.

And if you think Cohn’s kidding about the “cobweb-cheesecloth-macram,” see below.


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(Getty Images)

Haute couture: Pasadena designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy showcase Rodarte spring line at New York Fashion Week


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Locals Kate and Laura Mulleavy are the dynamic powerhouses behind Rodarte, the high-fashion line founded right here in Pasadena. Los Angeles Magazine calls Rodarte “the most conceptual and couture-level label out of Southern California right now.”

The evolution of Rodarte has been a fascinating one. A Style.com interview with the Mulleavys from Dec. 2008 gives a glimpse into their skyrocket ride into the couture stratosphere:

“… Rodarte is sui generis. Of course, they still live in their parents’ house in Pasadena. It may be a long way, both geographically and psychologically, from New York, but on a good day it’s a 20-minute drive from downtown L.A., a place where much of the brass-tacks work of fashion gets done …”


At right is Kate Mulleavy (right) and Laura Mulleavy with Kirsten Dunst at the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America fashion awards at Lincoln Center on June 15.

And Tuesday marked the debut of the sisters’ spring 2010 line at Fashion Week in New York.


“The Rodarte show was one of many hopeful auguries this week, signs that New York fashion has already started to regenerate itself through improvisation, experiment, collaboration and the locally prized habit of taking risks.”


Deconstructed, tribal, shredded, patchwork, Gothic — observe for yourself:


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(Getty Images)