Here Comes the Rodarte Bride
Just in time to wake and shake fashion week up
Not a bride yourself? These three shows will help you get dressed for every day life.
Some designers remind you that the pure fun of fashion is what got us here in the first place, which is important, no question, but it’s only the really great designers who can demonstrate how good they are at making clothes, too. You see this with Rosie Assoulin, who practically hugged you with her ridiculous red faille caped overalls yesterday. That’s a silhouette you may have never even known possible, and today, you saw this again with Rodarte and their sort of twisted San Francisco runaway bride.
I know it’s amateur to try to string a collection together. Clothes don’t have to tell stories the way they used to — they just have to look good, but the Mulleavy sisters don’t seem to care. And good on them because the narration is flawless.
The Rodarte bride starts in a slew of black looks, mostly rendered in leather. Those turn into white dresses, which become canyons, then return to white and black. But before even getting to the clothes, what an eye feast from the neck up! There are floral reefs worn as crowns that don’t look like crowns — more like headphones worn over the back of the models’ heads.
There are earrings and chokers that look like thick waist belts. Lipstick is dark and eye makeup sparkly. If my life was a fairy tale, this is precisely how I’d want to look.
Then the clothes do that great thing where they swing you into the comfortable cleavage of familiarity — you can spot an uneven Rodarte hem and one of those indigenous lace ruffles from a mile away — without making you feel like you’re chewing stale toast. How does one even manage to make a flower crown look new following the perplexing inundation of wreaths at musical festivals?
But more than the stuff, there’s an energy about this show. A genuine reprieve on the calendar, something to look forward to. It’s been an impressive season, the clothes are looking pretty great, but the sense you get from the audience (yawning and complaining at the shit weather we’ve endured) is that there’s still a cloud of uncertainty. A big question mark about what’s going to happen. You almost forgot that at Rodarte.