The Mulleavy sisters are on the rise, and after attending a Rodarte show for the first time, I now see why. Though Laura and Kate's designs aren't everyday wearable or affordable, they are art. And the sisters are evolving. One thing is for sure: Rodarte has found a niche. A fantastical world where women are feminine creatures who inhabit an otherworldly place. Intrigued? I caught up with Laura in the Lexus lounge after her show, and she spoke the creative speak of a designer in her element.
What are you feeling now that your show is over?
I am exhausted, excited, and happy. I was so nervous that last two days and I have no idea why.
More nervous than before?
Oh definitely. I think we were just so invested in it and it was definitely “us.” It just meant a lot for us to do this collection and get to a point where you grow and you can do more; it just felt different.
There were so many textures and colors in your collection. Let’s talk inspiration.
It started with the idea of Japanese horror films and Kabuki theater. Then we had the color red — how do you make red beautiful? Is it through orchids and peaches; do you use blacks, white, grays? And if you want to use all those colors, how do you balance it all? I felt like last season was a lot of watercolor pieces, but this season it felt like a movement of color too but in a stronger way.
To read the rest of what Laura has to say and to see Fab pre- and post-show photos, read more
What about your choice of fabrics?
Tulle and mohair and silk tulle. Anything light and see-through. Organza. Or has a quality that it seems to be broken but it’s so sturdy. I love that.
I am San Francisco-based, so I wanted to ask you about the Bay Area and your time at UC Berkeley.
We grew up in northern California – Santa Cruz, Monterey — and then moved to southern California in high school. But we both went to Berkeley. If you can go to college, I would tell anyone to try to go to Berkeley. I had the most amazing professors. There was something about being taught by someone that was the best at their field. There’s something really amazing about that campus too; it’s really beautiful.
At what point in time did you guys talk about becoming designers?
We always wanted to be designers, but we never really talked about it. It was what we loved, but I never considered going to design school. I wanted to learn other things. Everyone has a different way of working. I think we work by trying to learn things and then seeing how it works.
Can we talk about those Christian Louboutin shoes?!
Oh yeah (laughs). You need a base, and if you can imagine something delicate, I can only see it going hand in hand with something harder and graphic. The heels were six-and-a-half inches, but I didn’t know they would be! We knew we wanted them high. We were very careful with the girls, and they were girls who could walk in them. We practiced a lot. They were excited.