As if we were expecting anything else from the endlessly romantic and inventive Mulleavy sisters, who are known for having more than a passing interest in the dark and disturbing, spring was a vision of impossible wonder. It must be said that there are few designer’s who could successfully pull off a collection based, quite literally, around Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night and Sunflower paintings - and yet, this is exactly what the renegade girls from Pasadena did today.
For Spring/Summer 2012, the designer’s whimsically eccentric vision cavorted from 1950s silhouettes featuring bold all-over prints derived from the post-impressionist's works, to subtly sci-fi disco fun all within the blink of an eye – the chunky-heeled retro-vibe silver platform heels taking the vintage-feel looks well and truly into the imagined future. And while some of the cuts were perhaps not the most flattering we’ve seen from the designers, they were never short of being dreamy and romantic – as at home in a field by a haystack beneath a star-filled sky, as at a fancy uptown Manhattan soiree, but always with the avant-garde edge that makes Rodarte THE American label to watch each season.
And it’s not just in-the-know fashion industry insiders that are die-hard Rodarte fans, but countless (seemingly random) celebrities. Each season sees a new star-studded front row – last season even Elijah Wood sat up front between Kim Gordon, Natalie Portman and Kirsten Dunst, but today reached all new heights of OTT celebrity madness when Beyonce swanned into the room. The crowd quite literally went wild – both photographers and attendees snapping away feverishly hoping to get a shot of the singer who is, quite frankly, insanely good looking. Adorable blondies Dakota and Elle Fanning were also in the house, looking cute wearing last season wares.
Colours were positively gleaming, beginning with marigold yellow and gold and transitioning into iridescent aqua, powder blue, silver, midnight blue, lavender and purple – sequin and bead embellishment throughout also amped up the super-real quality of the clothing, lit dramatically by powerful overhead lights. The collection missed something of the continuity I’ve so appreciated in past seasons, where you are swept immediately into the sister’s unique world without any jumps – it may have had something to do with the bold contrast of Van Gogh’s iconic imagery with metallic disco fare (though I kind of really loved that sartorial craziness too), the soundtrack too seemed to miss their usual magic – skipping from Mazzy Star’s Fade into You to Morrissey anthem Every Day is Like Sunday with little transition. But, when it comes to the Mulleavy’s, you can be sure every detail has been carefully considered, laboured over and the result of the vision they intended – and there’s little doubt that this vision, as multifaceted as it may be, will be setting the trends – and clothing the celebrities – come spring.