The lovely sisters of the fashion clothing brand, Rodarte, Kate and Laura Mulleavy joined Martha to talk about their new 2010 spring line for our siblings show. I was quite intrigued by the girls when I actually went on set to examine the pieces they brought to share. They were quite crafty!
The first piece had about 6 different fabrics involved. The piece was mainly constructed out of cheese cloth that had been dyed over and over, pleated, shredded and burned. It reminded me of this artist I came across recently, John Paul Morabito, who creates these stunning art pieces of burnt silk. I imagined the sisters in their studio, having fun, experimenting—dying, burning, tearing and staining fabrics—pinning them on a dress form to create something couture. It seemed like a craft project I'd do with my sister.
The next piece was uniquely as raw. A mix of patterns and materials, wrapped around the bodice as if a person was lost in the desert searching for whatever they could find to protect themselves. I was loving the intentional random hole directly below the right hip bone that would expose just a tad of skin in a very sensual region of the body.
The piece below was exquisite—so complicatedly constructed—hand woven and braided leather, macrame and crochet fringe, and a hand-cast silver talon belt buckle.
The leather strips were pinched, crinkled and stitched, giving them different textures. Imagine duplicating this jacket?! Each one would be unique—there would be no way to make it exactly the same.
The wool yarn added yet another texture to this piece and juxtaposed the constricting and caged bondage features with its flowing length and movement.
Hand-cast details are an element that more and more designers have been experimenting with. This is not the first talon I've seen cast, but the first one I've seen as a belt buckle.
The last piece they shared with Martha, the girls described as the Condor dress.
I would say they did a pretty good job of turning a vulture into a couture evening dress. A small shoulder pad of black chicken feathers, a solid piece of scrunched leather replicates the birds featherless head and the draping blackened cheese cloth—all working together nicely to represent North America's largest flying land bird. I could scavenge wearing this dress no problem.
After seeing these four Rodarte pieces up close, I had a better understanding of how the sisters work—very experimental, very uniquely created and very crafty. This collection's mix of grunge and goth definitely recalls the landscapes of Death Valley and the deserts of California where they grew up and reflects the time they grew up in too—something I can relate to as well.