It’s a season of firsts for Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
For one, fall felt like Rodarte’s first real attempt at commercialization. The sisters elevated their execution for spring 2017, and this season’s consistent lineup is chockablock with what they do best — think crafty, ethereal mixed-lace dresses, and studded and embroidered leather separates — minus any extraneous bells and whistles.
“We thought about the book ‘Charlotte’s Web,’” explained Laura Mulleavy. “There’s a romance to the story that we used to read when children, and we first came up with the idea when we saw a black widow on our building’s outside. We said: ‘Let’s do a collection about ‘Charlotte’s Web’ — and leather.’ We wanted to use things that are very Rodarte.”
There were metallic details, for instance, such as a silvery sequence meant as a nod to a spider’s web viewed at night and dots of glitter applied to fabric.
Nothing was overdone, from the floor-length, strapless gown festooned with beads in a lacelike pattern, to the asymmetric, drop-waist lace dress with flowers, to the chunky knits.
The fall season was also the first time the Mulleavys presented their collection after eschewing the New York runway and shifting their presentation strategy to private appointments in Paris. They will show their spring 2018 collection on the runway in the City of Light in July, presumably during couture.
“We had various reasons for wanting to come to Paris,” said Laura Mulleavy. “One of them is we felt like it would be so nice to have our voice here. We’re romantic, and the city is romantic. I thought it could be really the right environment for what we do, so we can grow further.”