Fashion is...

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." - Coco Chanel.

This blog looks at fashion in its many incarnations, from the haute designers to the high street and from the trend-setters to the avid fashion followers. For this blogger, fashion is far more than the shirt on your back; it is communication, art, culture, anti-fashion, gender, revolution and resistance. It can instantly define or defy your identity. It is one of the most personal and unique things about you...

Friday, 18 February 2011

California Dreamin’- Rodarte Spring/Summer 2011

New York, 14th September 2010

When you think of Cali girls you picture blonde, bronzed and buxom beach bunnies. Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sister design duo behind Rodarte, had a somewhat different vision for their spring/summer 2011 collection, inspired by their home state of California. An elite crowd of fashion royalty, including Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo, DVF, ALT, Rachel Zoe and fashion sage, Franca Sozzani, sat expectantly in a room scattered with wood panels for the latest offering from the budding newcomers. Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin” crackled from the speakers setting a vintage seventies vibe and the first model was unveiled. Far from being a beach bunny, she was like an elfin tree nymph; sent to whisk us all up to the Coast Range Mountains of California. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a tribe of elves, clad in hourglass dress with cutaway shoulders, cropped or peplum jackets with matching wrap skirt in stamped leather, a wood-grain-print blouse sliced high on the torso to reveal a provocative flash of skin above loose trousers and a black lace blouse tucked into a tiered skirt.

The palette was predominantly brown with splashes of sea blue, mossy chartreuse and glistening golds: there was an audible gasp of adoration from the crowd as a gilded gladiator dress, whipstitched together from squares of burnished leather, appeared before us. As always, the Rodarte girls were not a mere one trick pony, and their references went far beyond the rocky mountains; what did the gorgeous blue and white Ming vase evening dresses have to do with redwoods? Thankfully, they also hadn't abandoned their renowned eccentricity entirely: the platform wedges were carved from wood, metal, and pyrite cubes into butterflies and flowers. With their eccentricities tamed and their layering restrained, the collection exuded a more mature aesthetic and a seductive new precision. It was uncomplicated and accomplished, yet retained its playfulness. The show ended on seventies classic, “Ventura Highway” by America. While it was a vintage soundtrack, there is no doubt that Rodarte are the designers of the future.

Key S/S 11 Trends Identified: The white silk shirt, draping.

Written for as part of their online fashion week diary:

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