By  on June 9, 2009

Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominees

Since landing on the scene four years ago with a suitcase stuffed with seven dresses and three coats, Rodarte’s Laura, right, and Kate Mulleavy have had a meteoric rise; they won the Swarovski Award last year and are now up for the main women’s wear honor, alongside industry vets Marc Jacobs and Narciso Rodriguez. 

The duo reached a turning point with their fall 2008 show, which flaunted an edgier, Goth side — crimson gowns meant to mimic pools of blood — and more commercially savvy wares, like those knockout slashed knits that marked a stark contrast from their earlier frothy, romantic reveries.

Another example: this spring’s introduction of jackets, which they followed with biker versions for their Frankenstein-inspired fall lineup. “We could do really different, amazing things. Hopefully, people will understand what your voice is,” says Laura, “if you take the time to develop it.”

See More Womenswear Nominees:

Narciso Rodriguez >>

Marc Jacobs >>

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