Rodarte's Outback dream

Rodarte feels very different to other young New York brands.

There’s a gentleness to the cut, a quiet intelligence about the design, a charming homespun, hand-crafted quality and, if that makes Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s Rodarte woman sound a bit too sweet and poetic, I think you’ll find she also has a head-strong rebellious edge, always goes her own way, does her own thing and doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

A bit like you’d imagine Natalie Portman to be. She was there, all low-key and laid back wearing a Rodarte mohair cardie with jeans. And Dakota Fanning too, wearing a spring/ summer ensemble in ice blue and gold, another great advert for the label. (Last season Beyonce rolled up in a lightening blaze of flashbulbs, so you can see how diverse Rodarte Woman can be).


For autumn / winter 2012, she might pick out the black wool lace dress speckled with dainty white flowers and sport this with a stompy heel. Then again she might opt for the off-the-shoulder cocktail frock with an asymmetric pale pink hem and throw on top a thick shearling coat with a large fluffy collar and cinch it with a cowboy belt. She’s the sort of girl who’d wear an ethereal hand-print gown one day and go for a strict black leather dress the next. She is unpredictable.


So when you listen to Laura Mulleavy backstage after the show talking through the collection, it comes as no surprise to hear her say things like ‘we wanted that feeling of layers and layers of history built over time,’ and ‘we wanted the girls to look dusty’. She explained how they’d mixed up the tailoring styles of the late 1930s – like the fitted grey/blue jacket with the curvy lapels – lwith Victoriana – the sinuous long ruffled dresses – and how photographs of the ‘desolate Australian outback’ had first inspired her and sister Kate.

They like large sweeping, open places – last season it was the great American prairies. Perhaps next season, they should take a trip to the North Yorkshire moors, with a copy of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights? Cathy goes punk. Now that’s a Rodarte collection I’d like to see.

See the full collection here

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