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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Rodarte: Duchesses of Punk

Godfrey Deeny
September 09th, 2008 @ 8:11 PM - New York

The conventional wisdom in New York is that the hippest new fashion house currently showing is Rodarte, and judging by the simply sensational collection this label presented Tuesday, Sept. 9 in Chelsea, the establishment has got this one dead on right.

Part homage to eighties futurist power dressing, part exercise in mesmerizing detailing, part space-age vision of edgy punky beauty, the Spring 2009 collection from the Rodarte duo of sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, was quite simply the best this season.

The show opened briskly with a brilliant series of looks: cut-out, zipped at the back leather leggings worn over intergalactic tunics, cut, tucked and darted with remarkable assurance. Multi-material tops composed of shards of leathers, loose weave knits, sequins and mesh combined remarkable technical dexterity with poetic imagination as the collection wowed with virtually every look.

For day, skirts and kilts in glittering gold with micro belts excelled, then at cocktail hour the sisters ramped up even more with crisscross chiffon dresses with micro bras that all said 21st century goddess. Plus the color palette was faultless, dip dyed hues of faded orange, indigo or inky black.

This was also one of those collections that is so good, all the contributors pulled out their best shots – wonderfully cool gold and silver leaf micro skull caps courtesy of hair stylist Odile Gilbert, a spaceship soundtrack from Michel Gaubert and art gallery walls illuminated with strip lighting and a catwalk with a mini bridge over building debris courtesy of Bureau Betak.

"Beautiful Androids," read the backstage instruction for how the models should act, summing up the arty utopianism of this remarkable collection and show.

In recent seasons, a new generation of American designers has emerged, breathing new life into the scene. Even if few really have the aesthetic clout to compete with the heavy weights in Paris or Milan, the biggest exception to that is Rodarte whom, when it comes to creative fire power, sheer inventiveness and gutsy sense of innovation, are the true champions of young American designers. This is a label that on today's evidence could march out on a Parisian catwalk and be assured of applause and acclaim.

Perhaps their remote California digs have also sheltered them from New York's commercial demands and obsessions with merchandise rather than mode. Whatever the explanation, this is most likely the fashion moment of New York this season.

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