Rodarte designers make ladylike magic for runway

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The Rodarte fall 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

NEW YORK (AP) — Her hair was a tad windswept and her clothes ever slightly askew, but it was a real lady wearing Rodarte on the catwalk Tuesday at New York Fashion Week.

The Rodarte woman on the runway favored dolman sleeve wool-crepe tops with matching pencil skirts and tiered, chiffon "tea party" dresses, many of them with ruffles. Other tops had lace collars, and she also liked lace, high-neck blouses.

Many of the looks embraced a soft desert-inspired palette with pumpkin and rust, but there were pieces of dusty pale pink and blue, and black and white.

The best coat was a black one made of felted wool and boucle (nubbly yarn) with shearling trim, but there was also a casual shearling jacket that would complement her wool cargo pants and cropped fisherman-knit sweater.

Rodarte designers, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy, pushed their fashion-forward customer a little bit farther by putting the signature details of coats, such as double-breasted buttons and flap pockets, on skirts and dresses.

It's something you could imagine front-row friend and actress Dakota Fanning wearing. (One probably can't say the same for George Lucas, who was also there.)

"They have so much talent. I think they're pretty magical, and they keep outdoing themselves," said stylist Rachel Zoe. "It's real art for the runway."