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Rodarte Brings a Dark Woodland Romance to the Runway for Fall

This season's girl has a witchy, bold lip, flowers in her hair and is all wrapped in lace.
A look from the Rodarte fall 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from the Rodarte fall 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

Without a doubt, the most popular topic of discussion among both designers and attendees at New York Fashion Week is the "see now, buy now" conundrum: Should the collections be geared primarily toward consumers and instantly shoppable once they debut on the runway? This has predictably led to many shows that are heavy on salability and lacking in memorability. Thankfully, we can always count on Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte to provide some magic, and their darkly romantic fall show transported us into a fairyland for a few much-needed moments on Tuesday afternoon.

The runway, littered with pink, red and white neon lights, doubled as a gravel garden, with flowers in complementing shades scattered about. As the models emerged, many wore fresh blooms in their hair (and in some cases, as delicate earrings, upper-arm bracelets or necklaces) further feeding into the woodland nymph vibe. Though elements of the collection felt heavy — lots of patchworked, ruffled leather, multicolored goat fur coats, belt-like chokers and elbow-length gloves — the eveningwear peppered throughout was positively dreamy. 

A number of lace dresses were hand-beaded with intricate floral and geometric patterns that sparkled under the lights, while others were adorned with Rodarte's signature ruffles or rose petal appliqués. A pair of them, one black and one white, were styled with veils, and the models wearing them stood still on display while the rest of the collection walked. The color palette consisted of mostly neutral tones with some dusty pink and burgundy mixed in, and each girl sported a dark berry lip, lending even the most ethereal looks a bit of witchy toughness.

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The finale gowns that closed the show were, in my opinion, the loveliest of the bunch, and I'm hoping that they'll make a red carpet appearance before awards season closes — perhaps on Kirsten Dunst or Jennifer Jason Leigh, who were both seated in the front row.