Those who attended Rodarte's spring collection show on Tuesday applauded loudly at the end, and rightly so. The swashbuckling pirates and grungy mermaids (or naiads) sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy sent down the runway wore looks both creatively conceived -- see the thigh-high lace-up boots, tight jeans and ruffled blouses worn by the swashbucklers -- and beautifully wrought. The "mermaid" dresses were crusted with barnacles and fish scales of lace, sequin and crystal, and layered with pieces of net and hand-embroidered and painted lace and chiffon.
These clothes weren't made for the street. As the Wall Street Journal's Christina Binkley observed after the show, the clothes would look just as good hanging on a wall as on a body. There were a few potentially commercial pieces: we mentioned the jeans, but there were also sunglasses designed in partnership with Oliver Peoples, fish-hook belts, metallic scarves and charm necklaces with potential. Also wearable: lace-up boots that ended conveniently at the ankle and large cargo jackets with belted pockets, some festooned with stripes or sequins. The cargo jackets will have wait lists, we're sure, but it's the dresses everyone will remember.