Since they launched their collection eight years ago, designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains have defied expectations and steadily built a business out of their cartoony, club-kid gear. Two years ago they partnered with investors the Weisfeld Group. And last year, the label that once didn't dare dream of seeing a selling floor even spun off a lower-priced line, now carried in over a hundred stores and its own in-store boutique at Macy's in Herald Square.
That said, Rich and Rains haven't lost an iota of the outrageously kooky spirit that makes entering the world of Heatherette a bit like dropping down a psychedelic rabbit hole. This season, it was a madcap take on The Wizard of Oz titled "Over the Rainbow," with their perennial muses cast in starring roles. Amanda Lepore took the role of the Good Witch Glenda, while Dorothy was played by Lydia Hearst, outfitted aptly for the role except for the racket bag on her arm. (The latter, a limited-edition piece from Puma's French 77 collection, is the fruit of a design collaboration between Hearst and Heatheretteeven a muse needs to market herself.) As always, amid the mad mix of deconstructed, reconstructed looks were some real clothes. A banded skirt over a pale blouse didn't make much sense, but a stiff black skirtsuit embellished with oversize googly eyes somehow worked. Ultimately, though, what will get their fans shopping is the series of block-lettered T-shirts that closed the show, with sayings like "WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE" and "IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN."