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Rodarte Womenswear A/W10

To the Mexico border towns we go for a bit of dream walking.

TextSusie LauPhotographyMark Reay

Kate and Laura Mulleavy have always woven a fine narrative for each of their collections but more importantly for A/W 10-11 they have woven, knitted and collaged their fabrics together in a softer, less aggressive collection. Getting in touch with their own Mexican roots without stepping into any cultural stereotypes may have given the collection a deeper personal connection that could be seen in the choice of fabrics articulately placed together in dresses, tops and skirts that wrap and bind the body. The term 'dressing in the dark' could have been terrifying as an influence point but when the fabrics in question include faded florals, plaids, frou frou bits of frippery and of course the shaggy and loopy knits that are Rodarte's longtime motif, then reaching for a combination of those things in pitch black isn't such a scary prospect. That said, this half-sleeping girl in the dark is also meant to be sleep walking and she finally reaches her destination in the finale, where a group of brides or those celebrating their Quinceañera dressed in diaphanous white dresses (there were plenty of exclamations post show of "I want to get married in THAT!") came wafting out.  Scene-setting accoutrements such as the song 'Blue Moon' and UV lights in the Alexandre Betak-designed space accompanied the dream sequence finale, picking out the warm glow of these blushing brides.

Dazed Digital: There was a real sense of romance and a softer direction in this collection - what prompted this?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: Fall 2010 explores the idea of sleepwalking and in-between states of consciousness and place.  We became interested in Juarez, Texas, a border town that exists in constant transition at the Mexican-American crossing. This part of Texas has this haunted, hazy melancholy like an old 50’s song radiated from a broken down steel blue truck. The Mexican maquilladora workers, walking to the Juarez factories in the middle of the night in a sort of sleep state, had a profound impact on us.

DD: Please talk a little bit about the fabric collaging as well as the mix of prints that you have developed for this collection?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy: The idea of a dream state guided the development of the collection in that we imagined a half-sleeping girl, dressing herself in the dark of night and focused on building garments that are neither long or short, made of varying layers. The collection interlaces florals, plaids, embroidery, and prints. We played with transparency and opaqueness in this collection, using a palette with Mexican-American references but without the usual tropes.

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