by Christine Suppes
Editor in Chief
Perhaps the most awaited show of the New York season, Rodarte was held at the
Ukrainian Institute of America, an architectural gem on the upper East side.
It was a perfect space for Kate and Laura Mulleavy's fluid, supple dresses
and gowns, which with each passing season become more ethereal. Having just
been to the Haute Couture week in Paris, I can attest that almost every
collection this season had perhaps one such lighter than air gown. After
all, lighter than air IS the hallmark of couture. But Rodarte brought out
dresses, gowns and coats, one after the next, in which the single most
salient feature was airlessness. The designers are now utilizing what the
call a "sunburst" which is a silk cut out that has been pleated to
perfection, cascading down the fronts or backs of the dresses, which were
shown in shades of white, ivory, yellow, peach, black and a surprise maroon.
Twisted and knotted silk roses, spilling across a pale yellow pleated gown,
shows the direction in which this duo seems to be headed----they say they are
inspired by nature, and this season by Greek mythology, and one feels a
distant harkening to the past---but only faintly. Rodarte stands for soft,
the opposite of stiff, for feminine, the opposite of masculine, for beauty,
the opposite of ugly. Front row pros like Vogue editor in chief Anna
Wintour, filmmaker Liz Goldwyn, and Harper's Bazaar contributing
editor Tatiana Sorokko all seemed to agree. If you weren't there, you missed
the latest collection of America's most important young designers.