The recent Rodarte fashion show, held inside the Williamsburg Savings Bank, was a mesmerizing display of creativity and artistry. The silver banquet that served as the backdrop to the event was a fitting introduction to the magical collection that was about to unfold. The designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, were inspired by the world of fairies for this season, which was evident in the whimsical designs that walked down the runway.
The silver banquet was only the beginning, as the Rodarte show went on to showcase a range of glamorous evening gowns and other stunning pieces. The collection was a unique blend of dark and romantic elements, with the Mulleavys’ signature touch of beauty in darkness. The gothic fairies, with their Siouxsie Sioux-inspired eye makeup and black lipstick, led the way for a series of beautiful pieces that combined classic and contemporary styles.
The show opened with a series of jersey numbers with dramatic bell sleeves, followed by different versions in burnout velvet, embellished with sequins or floral appliqués. The designers’ favorite old technique of dragging shredded cheese cloth that had been dyed black was also used in this collection. The gowns were so heavy and delicate that they had to be laid on tables like amulets used to bring back the dead in a seance.
The Fall/Winter 2023 collection also featured black satin bias-cut dresses with Victorian details, velvet mutton-sleeve bodies with white lace trim, and white lace capelets. The three all-over beaded fringe slip dresses with oversized black velvet sleeves were a particular highlight of the show. The designers were careful to anchor the ethereal beading to the storytelling, giving it a frame that made the pieces all the more magical.
The show ended with four models wearing bulbous shapes made entirely from metallic fringe, which brought a touch of whimsy and fantasy to the collection. The silver one was added at the last minute, after the silver banquet was suggested for the set design. This spoke to the designers’ creative approach, which is always pushing to make their collections better and more reflective of their unique style.