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Rodarte S/S 09

Kate and Laura Mulleavy instruct their models to be "Beautiful Androids" as they walk through a purposely installed rubble set.

PhotographyMark ReayTextKin Woo
The instruction to the models was “beautiful androids”. And indeed as the models glided through the futuristic rubble set specially constructed by Bureau Betak in the Gagosian Gallery; that was a good starting point as any to hang your hat on. But trying to pin down a specific reference for Rodarte’s senses-shattering S/S collection is almost missing the point. Kate and Laura Mulleavy distil a million ideas into something uniquely their own. With Rodarte, the art vs fashion, couture vs ready to wear debate is rendered inconsequential, as we were all entranced by an almost alien beauty in motion.
Dazed Digital: Was the idea of the future the starting point for the collection?
Laura Mulleavy: It was not so much the future but it was more about the things that were left behind. The idea of remnants and decay, things that were more human.
DD: The collection seems to be getting tougher, the chains and leather, mixed in with the more ethereal elements. Do you agree with that?
LM: I dunno. I guess it is because people say it. It’s what you feel at the moment when designing.
DD: Your collections seem to be more about the evolution and refining of your aesthetic.
LM: That’s what you wanna do as a brand. You want to say something, uncover ways to say something about it and learn new challenges. We’ll pick one idea and play with it, that’s what I like about it.
DD: How is it working with a sibling? Is it you think of random references and you instantly get it?
LM: We both get it all the time! That’s why it’s funny. She knows exactly what I’m thinking and I know what she’s thinking. It’s kinda amazing in that way.
DD: Tell us about your experiment with colour
LM: The story really was taking elements of light formations, light art, neon violet, things you associate with light and space and things people were doing in the sixties. It was really cool.
Kate Mulleavy: it was a specific collection, in terms of colour for us. To me, I felt that the tan had as much of an impact as the vibrant orange. The tan represents skeletal, the idea of skeletons left in the desert, or the Spiral Jetty which if you looked at from above Earth, that’s what you would see.
Dazed also spoke to filmmaker, artist and friend of Rodarte, Miranda July to find out her thoughts on the collection:

"I want everything! Their stuff is really art. It’s different when I’m actually wearing it – all I want to do is look great in it. When I’m watching the show, it’s the same way I look at my own stuff, like trying to picture what they were feeling. Watching them walk past like that, it really is like music or something really emotional. When I wear it, I feel very special, very elegant and also because they’re friends, it’s also moving to me, the whole saga of them, that I’m wearing something they made. In an ideal world everything would have some special meaning."