Rodarte fall 2010

New York is definitely the most wearable of the four main fashion week cities, and I'm glad Rodarte is there to make things more imaginative. The Mulleavy sisters always bring a sense of fantasy, but it's not a fairytale, and it's never whimsical. It's slightly darker, with a sense of reality - something that is maybe painfully familiar, perhaps in a nostalgic way; a feeling you've grasped before, now translated into clothing. And that's part of the inspiration for this collection: the point between awake and asleep, or reality and make-believe. Sleepwalkers.

It began with a variety of colors and textures and prints, from plaids to florals to knits. There was definitely a dressing-in-the-dark quality, in keeping with the other part of the collection's inspiration: female factory workers in Mexican border towns, whose workday begins at night.
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The fabric combinations also kept with Rodarte's general aesthetic, as did the idea of contrasting elements (this time, colorful/white and awake/asleep.) It was nice to see the print-mixing expand into layering; not just draping, as the girls usually do.
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The mix of colors disappeared for the last looks, and monochromatic sleepwalkers drifted by. The nostalgic elements of light fabrics, feathers, and pearls went all-white, and I initially felt that this indicated a sort of stripping away of the prints and colors and tracings of daytime so as to make a clean palette for dreams to form. But the fabrics were drifty and the characters vulnerable. The knits and shearling jackets that had previously protected them were gone, and the new dresses resembled nightgowns, underthings visible. Then the blacklight came on, and the heels in the candlewax shoes lit up, and these were no longer sleepy-eyed girls wishing to dream. They were ghosts, drifting along with only white bits of their dresses visible so as to barely haunt us.

photos by me and screencaps taken from