>> Laura and Kate Mulleavy produce about 100 special-order Rodarte dresses a year and spent weeks perfecting the dyeing technique for their early "blood" dresses, ensuring that the red wouldn't leach into the white, but as for their own clothes, they don't aim to personify their brand: When they talked to the Times UK, Laura was wearing a striped shirt she though could be Russian, but it, like all her others, came from a flea market.
The designers have a well-documented film fetish, and spent a year watching horror movies, sometimes four a day, from the Japanese films that inspired their Fall 2008 collection to Hitchcock's oeuvre, fast-forwarding when it got boring. “Everyone in fashion loves Tippi Hedren wearing that green suit in The Birds," says Kate. “But we love the suit after she has been pecked.”
Their entry in fashion was fortuitous »
And it was by a stroke of luck that they were discovered in the first place, the Times UK reports:
Once they had designed their first collection, a romantic symphony of just ten items in rusts and celadon green, they decided to show it to Cameron Silver, the flamboyant owner of Decades, the mecca of Hollywood’s vintage-wearers. Silver told them to go to New York, where they had never been before and knew no one, or almost no one. He had given them the number of Women’s Wear Daily, the industry oracle. WWD invited them to the office. 'To this day, no one at Women’s Wear knows what came over them,' says Kate. 'They never invite cold callers to the office.' Women’s Wear loved the clothes so much, it put them on the cover.
Even after the success they've attained in two years, the sisters love their unique viewpoint from their studio in Pasadena: “People think American fashion is all about sportswear and the bland,” says Kate, “but if you look back to [Rudi] Gernreich and [costume designer] Adrian, it was pretty wild.”