Rodarte Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection Review — Sleeping Beauty & Sunflowers

Film and music ingénues filled the Rodarte Spring 2012 Front Row with Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Beyoncé Knowles, Solange Knowles, Rooney Mara, Saoirse Ronan, and Taylor Swift on hand for the designers’ latest fantasy-meets-reality collection. Sartorial sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy cited dual influences, the animated Disney classic Sleeping Beauty and Vincent Van Gogh, noting a correlation between the color stories of each. Backstage, Laura Mulleavy noted how, “He (Van Gogh) used yellow, a color that most people have an aversion to, but he made it feel so inviting…”


With 35 new looks, the dreamscape palette of marigold, seafoam, lavender, pistachio, and night blue was the perfect backdrop for the collection’s abstract star, sunflower, brushstroke, and blossom prints, which were abstracted, pixilated, and texturized for an enhanced dimensionality. The silhouette, particularly the shoulders and bodice had a somewhat 1940’s influences with a sprinkling of 80’s throughout, that was reminiscent of prom dresses. Layered looks remained strong, but were more structured, tailored, and architectural as demonstrated by a lovely wrinkled leather lambskin top and a painter’s smock top. Hemlines fluctuated from just below the knee to floor length with either asymmetrical trims or drop waists.


The runway soundtrack featured Morrissey’s “Everyday is like Sunday” and Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” During a season that tends to favor a more sun kissed, bronzed, natural face, the beauty direction here was a dark and moody emphasis on the eye. The sisters said they purposefully chose to do a heavier eye as a metaphor for finding something light and uplifting in darkness.   


My favorite looks from the Rodarte Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the yellow metallic cotton drop waist sunflower print dress with a folded circle skirt; the marigold and ochre metallic linen painter’s smock top and skirt; the seafoam silk and cotton asymmetrical flared skirt with lavender, purple, and ochre basket stitch hand-knit sweater; the moon and cloud brushstroke printed metallic cotton box-pleated dress; the iris purple wrinkled leather lambskin top and avocado silk georgette tiered skirt with an acid green crinkle silk chiffon border; and the pistachio wrinkled leather lambskin top and lavender silk and cotton flower motif asymmetrical flared skirt. Many of the looks were accented by wrinkled leather lambskin belts, silver mirror leather abstract star sandals, and Swarovski crystal elements


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