Every Rodarte show is a cinematic experience, despite the fact that the sets are always sparse, save for a few light or flower arrangements. And yet, with just the music - and, of course, the clothes - the Mulleavys almost tasked you with coming up with a backstory for their girls. The designers recently finished production on their first feature film - due for release next year - as writers and directors. It’ll be fascinating to see a world they’ve filled with more… stuff. For this morning’s show however, we had to suffice with patches of garden accompanied by birdsong and ringing church bells.
There was a soft/hard pull in this collection that we've only seem glimpses of from them before. On one side, you had the most delicate of their signature dresses - in pale buttery yellow and white, with pearl buttons and tiny flowers attached - which appeared even lighter than usual. Maybe it was in the way a cropped ruffled blouse looked shrunk or all that dotted tulle and honeycomb lace. Or maybe it was the sheer contrast with the abundance of tough studded leather that accompanied them which exaggerated things. An off-white leather skirt featured silver studs and stars and a laser cut floral motif. The flame-like collar and sleeves of a black leather coat were fully studded. The two qualities came together best in a couple of sequinned dresses with breastplates, of sorts, heavy with gold and amber embroidery. The ivory one in particular seemed to come alive through gold butterflies buzzing around its skirt. They were dresses fit for a warrior princess going into battle and by the finale their armour had softened into a heart shape. I’m Set Free by The Velvet Underground played while they got in formation. The church bells kicked back into action and we, the audience, were left to dream.