As brands search for ways to stand out amid an increasingly crowded show calendar, Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy opted to skip the catwalk entirely this season in favor of a portrait portfolio featuring some of the women who inspire them.
Kirsten Dunst (pregnant with her first child), Kim Gordon, Grimes, Gia Coppola, Miranda July and Ava Phillippe are among the talents they tapped to pose in outfits from their fall collection, which were also displayed on dressmakers’ forms in a Paris showroom.
Standing against a painted backdrop in ruffled lace blouses, flamenco frill skirts or sheer dresses with embroidered floral motifs, Rodarte’s eclectic cast of characters could have jumped out of a vintage Hollywood movie set in turn-of-the-century theaterland.
The duo played with a multicolor palette: baby blue for a simple tulle bustier gown, lipstick red for a dress covered in tiny fabric rosettes and a trail of velvet butterflies. There was a costume feel to some of the looks, such as an oversize artist’s smock covered in tiny silver sequins.
Kate Mulleavy said their recent feature film debut, “Woodshock,” has set them on new paths to self-expression. “We’re kind of now more freeing ourselves from what are the traditional ways that you can show and experience the emotion of a collection,” she explained.
Celebrating creative women took on added meaning in light of the Time’s Up movement, added Laura Mulleavy. “It’s an important time for people to recognize that women are artistic, and that’s what I think these images reflect in all the different personalities,” she said.
Indeed, these creations require a confident interpretation, which can be a double-edged sword. Still, there’s something thrilling about seeing two female designers express their creative instincts so freely.