Fields of gold: Rodarte spins an exquisite yarn at New York Fashion Week

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Color us biased, but New York Fashion Week has ended, and that means it’s time to check in with our favorite sartorial contender: Rodarte, the high-fashion label founded by Pasadena sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy.
Once again, Rodarte racked up solid praise from fashion’s top critics for their fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection. Dominated by bucolic, creamy neutrals, the showing was a nice departure from some of the more somber palettes they’ve favored — albeit, to dramatic success — in the past.
After the jump, more photos, and some choice quotes from the critics:

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Pasadena designers behind Rodarte created scene-setting costumes for ‘Black Swan’

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If you’re paying even a modicum of attention to the Hollywood awards season, you may have heard of a little film called “Black Swan.” Actress Natalie Portman is knee-deep in praise and various honorary statuettes for her lead performance in the movie. 
Pasadena sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy — the design forces behind Rodarte —  have also received many accolades for producing some of the film’s most notable costume designs.
At left, that’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy with Portman at a “Black Swan” screening in November.
They created 40 different costume pieces for “Black Swan,” from the main character’s featured ensembles down to her knitwear. (The Mulleavys were ineligible for a formal Oscar nod, because they weren’t credited in the film and weren’t members of the Costume Designers Guild at the time.)
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Laura Mulleavy said in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily that one artistic influence was Edgar Degas’ bronze ballerina.
“We always loved the distressed skirt,” she told WWD.
And, Pasadenans can get a firsthand view of the Degas sculpture, “Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen,” 1878-81, on display at the Norton Simon Museum. (Seen at right, in a file photo courtesy of the museum.)
It’s not the first time the sisters have drawn inspiration from local museums and culture. They have before cited such iconic Pasadena institutions as the Norton Simon, The Huntington and even The Raymond as personal favorites.
See some of the Mulleavys’ “Black Swan” sketches after the jump:


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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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Letters from New York: Rodarte at the Cooper-Hewitt


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>>GO 
If you’re planning a trip to New York between now and mid-March, there’s a new exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that focuses on Pasadena residents Kate and Laura Mulleavy — they of the acclaimed U.S. fashion label Rodarte.
The exhibit delves into the Mulleavys’ unique process of creation; The sisters execute complex manipulation of materials and meticulous techniques, first deconstructing and then rebuilding the elements into high fashion.
As an example, from January’s lengthy New Yorker profile by Amanda Fortini:
“They often speak of ‘building’ a dress. To create their garments, which tend to include a multitude of textiles (and finicky ones, like tulle, organza, leather, and lace), adornments (crystals, feathers, rosettes), and techniques (draping, pleating, dyeing), the Mulleavys work with a team of three seamstresses, a pattern-maker, a dyer, a leather worker, and three knitters. One mid-length yellow chiffon dress from the 2006 fall collection took a hundred and fifty hours to complete.”

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Shoes light up Rodarte runway, plus more behind-the-scenes images

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Let’s talk about those shoes.
They lit up the Rodarte runway like fireflies in an unearthly darkness, and managed somehow to be ever-so-much cooler than the effect of white confetti under black lights.
SHOWstudio, which earlier today carried the impressive live stream of Rodarte’s fall/winter 2010 collection, had this to say, of the shoes, on its blog:
“These strapped and sliced Nicholas Kirkwood shoes — with their cut-out sportswear-inspired fronts contradicted by illuminated fairytale melting wax heels — were just the cherry on the cake of a captivating collection that is undoubtedly one of the finest of the week so far. You can keep the heels, girls — we’re walking on air!”


You can, and should, catch the whole runway show, on-demand, at SHOWstudio.

Some close-ups, with variety:

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Photo gallery: Rodarte Fall 2010 collection


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>>SHOP 
Pasadena’s own denizens Laura and Kate Mulleavy came out strong at New York Fashion Week this morning in Rodarte‘s fall 2010 collection, worthy of an ethereal ghost bride with a penchant for neutrals, lace and a touch of pearls.
Still present were their bold textures and patchwork layering, but the muted color palette put a dreamlike haze over the affair. Where before their designs were almost tribal, that quality was overtaken by a spectral, romantic glow.
The Mulleavys have said they were inspired, among other things, by the notion of sleepwalking.

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UPDATED: Live tweeting Rodarte at New York Fashion Week

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UPDATE: Below, what people are saying about Rodarte, now that the show’s over, on Twitter.
The Rodarte show starts in less than 10 minutes, and we’ll be watching, via live feed, at ShowStudio.com
See our live tweets @RoseMagazine


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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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)