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Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominees
This story first appeared in the June 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
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.”
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