Swedish fireplaces, LA traffic, hair for dressing on the fly, the word ‘sparkly’ (it’s boring apparently)… Conversing with Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the left-of-centre fashion label Rodarte, is like losing yourself in a labyrinth of tiny streets. Bonkers but fascinating. A bit like the obscure inspirations (Japanese horror movies anyone?) behind their wonderfully ethereal collections, which have seen them accumulate a coterie of tastemakers as fans.
Still, with their couture-like dresses costing upwards of five figures (yes, really), Rodarte occupy a rarefied universe that can leave everyone else feeling like outsiders looking in. But that is about to change, because – drum roll! – the sisters have joined forces with Swedish high street retailer & Other Stories to produce a collection so bank-balance-friendly, everyone will be able to live the Rodarte dream. 4
So why doesn’t this latest high street/high end collaboration not have the same clamour around it as, say, Balmain x H&M did in November last year? Don’t be fooled: the designers are a big deal, but on meeting them it’s obvious fanfare isn’t their thing. More smiley and friendly than their press shots suggest, Kate (newly blonde and fringe-free: ‘I was so nervous about it’) and Laura are really not ‘fashiony’. At. All. Much has been made of their understated, anti-fashion personal style, and yet they have won countless awards (including two prestigious CDFAs) and their designs are worn by the likes of Natalie Portman (they created the costumes for her Oscar-winning 2011 film <Black Swan>), Chloe Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst and the Fanning siblings. Even Michelle Obama and More