By  on November 8, 2018

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., has never done a fashion exhibition. For its first, it chose to focus on two living American designers who have owned and operated their label independently from its inception. The exhibition, titled simply “Rodarte,” opens Nov. 10 and runs through Feb. 10, 2019, showcasing nearly 100 pieces from 18 collections by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters who started their California-based label 13 years ago.

This is not the first time a museum has come calling to feature the Mulleavys’ work — the Cooper Hewitt staged a show on Rodarte in 2010, as did the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles the following year — but the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ show is Rodarte’s biggest yet. Guest curator Jill D’Alessandro, who oversees costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, worked with the Mulleavys to break down their collections into recurring themes: Early Innovations, Magical Beautiful Horror, Woodshock, Black Swan, Texture, Northern California Roadmap, Light and The Garden. The pieces are displayed in full, original runway looks with hair by Odile Gilbert and an installation by Rafael de Cardenas/Architecture at Large.

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