As you may have figured out from the last blog post (read here in case you missed it), I’m not exactly a New York Fashion Week fan. In my opinion, it’s a tier 2 fashion week alongside London (deluge of hate coming my way) with Milan and Paris coming in at tier 1. Now this has nothing to do with Milan having Prada (okay maybe just a little bit…) or Paris playing the Balenciaga trump card, but rather because I find New York and London to be such a random mix of designers fighting for the title of Master Random. But just like Paris Fashion Week, the Big Apple holds an ace within its grasp – Rodarte. Up there among my favourite brands, Rodarte is probably one of the few main reasons I follow New York Fashion Week.
Moving on from last season’s floor-length prairie coats, the Mulleavy sisters toned down the eccentric for wearability. Much to my…everyone’s surprise, wearability was prominent throughout the whole collection. I’m always a petty bit scared before a Rodarte show goes live – scared that the eccentric verges on costume rather than the ideal. But this wasn’t the case. Far from it. So far that the inspiration flew all the way from Australia. The Outback, to be exact.
The shoes – one word: DIY!!! The Rodarte Autumn/Winter 2012 shoes just s-c-r-e-a-m for attention. I mean really. COLOUR BLOCKED SAND INSIDE A HEEL? I can’t deal. I wonder how many street style photographers will go nuts and milk when they see someone strutting these down the street. Footwear wasn’t the only structured element sent out as tailored jackets, coats and shearling (in black and white) truly defined the peak of Rodarte’s wearability streak.
And then came black. And black came with a commercial bang. Leather dresses with appliqué detail made investors smile. Well, they sure made me smile. Aboriginal met Australian urban chic? Later, evening gowns with handprints closed the show and I couldn’t help but think about the blend of control and art Kate and Laura Mulleavy achieved in such an effortless way.
After struggling to find the right balance between their unconventional aesthetic and the access to their consumers, the Mulleavy sisters finally got it right with what I think is their most commercial yet ‘Rodarte’ show yet. Come this time next year, I’m sure a lot of Rodarte will surge through street style at the 4 fashion capitals. And rightfully so.
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