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Is there any bigger luxury in these pandemic times than the freedom to move?
Movement was a theme in several designers’ shows at New York Fashion Week on Saturday, beginning with Rodarte.
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For those who forgot how the communal ritual of a runway show can create genuine emotion, sometimes even tears, Kate and Laura Mulleavy brought it back.
The designers brought their guests to New York’s Westbeth Artists Housing, founded in 1970 to offer affordable living space to artists and their families, highlighting the importance of art, and the collective experiencing of it, in community life.
That is something the American fashion community has been missing for the last year and a half. Which may be why the Rodarte show felt so cathartic. We forgot what this felt like — the production, the choreography, the swelling music and beauty of clothes.
The Mulleavys also captured the freedom of movement (and the spirit of the West) in the collection, using caped silhouettes, diaphanous lace, stretch bodysuits and leggings.
A silk cape gown in a trippy mushroom print opened up in the breeze, while a caped black bodysuit and one-leg legging had a similar glamorous dynamism to that of L.A.’s great fashion liberator, Rudi Gernreich.
The designers conjured the Western landscape from sea to desert, with a glorious black silk slipdress with a beaded white shell over the chest, and a bright blue blazer with beaded white hibiscus flowers, worn with a beaded capelet underneath, a white cross-front bodysuit, wide-legged trousers and cowboy boots. It was incredibly chic (and the beadwork would have made Nudie Cohen proud).
Speaking of landscapes, the Mulleavys were able to take a road trip to Rosewell, N.M., hence the little green alien on a spectacular hand-beaded scenic cape. Pleated capes over crepe blouses and handkerchief hem skirts and dazzling beaded fringe dresses in shocking pink, yellow or black called out to California ladies of the canyon and to Hollywood starlets.
To close, models came out in identical tunic dresses, each one a different sunset hue, and stood barefoot around the courtyard, like a goddess circle reconnecting us all.
Launch Gallery: Rodarte RTW Spring 2022