When almost every designer seems to be referencing Céline and Balenciaga, it's nice that you can always count on Kate and Laura Mulleavy to do something completely different for Rodarte. These sisters truly march to the beat of their own drum. That means I don't always "get it"--like their spring 2012 Van Gogh "Starry Night collection" or some of this season's sheer ruffled dresses that just seemed plain impractical. But I appreciate that they're doing their own thing.
For fall 2013 the first looks out were heavy and dark--suede trenches and woven leather separates. Then the palette shifted to nudes--perhaps a reference to the Mulleavy's sandy California home. A double-faced "foam" coat from this series stood out. Bodysuits figured heavily into the daywear portion of the show.
Maybe the Mulleavy's were feeling '90s nostalgia like everyone else. The soundtrack certainly seemed to imply as much. It started with Butthole Surfers, followed by Beck, and then Dinosaur Jr. (you can always count on Rodarte to feature awesome music). And then out came the eveningwear, with a nod to the '90s as well: Long evening dresses were tie dyed (remember when you used to make your own tees at camp?), and then mashed together with delicate rose embroideries studded with Swarovski crystals. I loved the look of something as casual and DIY as tie dye elevated to eveningwear.
Overall, the collection felt thoughtful and thoroughly unique--two things we've come to expect from the Rodarte sisters.