Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy have become New York’s resident young dream team, and as such face great expectations regarding what their meticulous imaginations will dream up next. For the past few seasons, the sisters have explored a beautifully aggressive vision to a point that set up a critical moment: Move on or risk getting mired in sameness. In a resolute rebuttal to the latter, on Tuesday the Mulleavys showed an exquisite collection full of feminine nomads layered in intricate combinations of delicate versus robust. It had a beguiling lightness. Backstage postshow, Laura said they had been thinking about Juarez, Mexico, border towns and “the idea of sleepwalking and existing between worlds.” Considering the morbid nature of the news out of Juarez these days, such a premise could lend easily to the Mulleavys’ more ominous inclinations. Instead, they worked up a romantic overture defined by delicate colors, glorious knits and yards of traditional Mexican lace — girlish elements grounded in an earthy craftsiness.


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