12 December 2009


The upcoming Rodarte for Target collection has really sparked my interest in finding out what Rodarte is all about, their story, their inspiration, their work. The label was started by two sisters (Laura and Kate Mulleavy). Heres their picture:

I think what I find so interesting about these two women is that they aren't just the typical fashion/scene people... they've actually got brains! Both are graduates of UCBerkeley. It is SO refreshing to see academic people transitioning into the world of fashion (particularly because I am an English major, and so was Laura). Their intellectualism defiinately translates into the clothes... I have never really encountered anything like Rodarte. The clothes are so thought provoking, and there is definately something to be said about a fashion label whose show literally makes me stop breathing.

These sisters work with their hands, and have become masters of their sort of signature drapey-interwoven-asymmetrical-rouched motif. Even the Spring 2010 collection, which was intentionally made using "ugly" fabrics like burnt cheeseclotch and sandpapered leather, was put together in such a way that the craftsmanship of the looks, the combination of the seemingly ugly components was intensely beautiful and powerful. Heres some of my favorites from the Spring 2010 show:

I could post a billion picture on here of all my favorite Rodarte moments (it's so hard to pick just one!) but I think by far, the most mesmerizing dress I have ever seen come down the Rodarte Runway is this one, so full of movement, so full of color.... I love the way that this dress makes your eye move from color to color and then following the trail of the black swooshey thingy... PERFECTION:  (I couldn't find a picture to steal so just follow this link, thanks NYTimes!)


Rodarte consistently gets better and better at producing finely crafted pieces of art. The clothes are daring, fresh, intellectual, often shocking, always beautiful.

(oh and as far as pronunciation, I haven't heard either of the sisters pronounce it themselves, but I have heard "ro-DART-ay" a lot. maybe this is just me being a picky English major, but I definately prefer "row-DART." the soft vowel sound cut off with the sudden intonation of the second syllable, curving the "R" sound with the front of your mouth is more intriguing to my ear. and saying "ro-DART-ay" just sounds hokey. but call it what you will.)


  1. WHOA
    i sense some "intellectual" elitism here.

    "It is SO refreshing to see academic people transitioning into the world of fashion..." because artists aren't academic? because the arts are not intellectual? because fashion is made by dumb artists and having more graduates of elite schools somehow validates your matriculation into the club of best colleges and universities? what is this, academic imperialism?

    and i'm sure they wouldn't be saying anything about their "intellectualism translating into their clothes" if they didn't have a "real" degree from a "real" school.

    cause when someone goes to art school or a lesser school,or no school at all, they aren't an intellectual...

  2. Ok so maybe I wasn't clear about this, your perception of what I wrote couldn't be further from what I meant.

    What I meant is that it is refreshing for ME to see people from the academic world transition into fashion because that is ultimately what I want to do. I did not mean to make this into any sort of political comment about going to university verus not going to university.

    To even think for a second that I would assume that people from the academic world are in any way superior at fashion than people who aren't from the academic world is offensive to me and offensive to pretty much everyone in fashion who didn't go to university.

    It sounds like you are the one who isn't confident about where you are in life right now. It's not my fault you feel this elitist division, but please don't project your own bitter interpretations onto what I write when you are plain old wrong.

    And for the record, not once in this entry did I mention that going to university is the only way to be an intellectual. Or the only valid way to work in fashion/ the arts.

  3. Todd, you rule.

    So do the Mulleavy sisters.

    But I stand by what I said with regards to pronunciation...

    RODARTE \ro-dar-tay\
    This exquisite label’s hand-stitching and beading attest to the art of fashion (but pronounce all three syllables).


    PS some of your readers need to CHILL OUT...melodramatic much?