The Mulleavy sisters opted for a collection devoid of intellectual themes and focused instead on delivering a finely crafted fairytale parade of gowns.
Since the beginning, Rodarte has been a smart girl’s fashion brand with its esoteric references and pop culture witticisms. Previous collections have name-checked auteurs like Terrence Malick and art-house films like The Double Life of Véronique, and designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy are even set to direct their own film starring Kirsten Dunst and entitled Woodshock. However, for Spring/Summer 2017, where one might have expected exotic underpinnings, the Mulleavy sisters opted for a collection devoid of intellectual themes and focused instead on delivering a finely crafted fairytale parade of gowns. Although a 1973 Spanish film, Spirit of the Beehive, is referenced in the show notes, it is the free spirit of its central characters that informs the presentation rather than the film’s costuming.
Delicately rendered dresses spun from sheer pointelle lace and layered sheaths of Chantilly launched the show in spectacular fashion. These dreamy creations cobbled together a sense of prairie madness and Victoriana. Amid these fragile frocks were sturdier combinations like ivory trousers with safety-pinned seams and elaborately grommeted leather dresses and separates. Crocheted knitwear also made a surprise appearance in a soft butter-yellow look that covered the body from wrist to ankle, which was followed by a lavish, technicolor mix of glittering, floral frocks. The pretty/tough balance was also reflected in the beauty look – always a major point of focus on the Rodarte runway – which combined delicate florets in the hair with maximal facial jewelry.
The final selection of looks ended the show on a heart-thudding note as ethereal lace gowns etched with abstract heart-shaped ruffled bibs fulfilled the fantasy angle of the presentation. The lucky few who will find themselves in these topiary confections are assured some of the most stunning red-carpet looks we’ve seen so far at New York Fashion Week.