Exclusive: Rodarte, Tavi, And Target Team Up On Video
Teenage blogging sensation Tavi Gevinson made the scene during New York fashion week back in September, hitting the hottest shows (Alexander Wang) and the most happening fêtes (Larry Gagosian’s townhouse party). But as far as we know, only Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy put the 13-year-old to work. The results of their collaboration, a video project promoting the designers’ Target collection that took them from the Gagosian Gallery (where Elijah Wood tells Tavi, “You sort of have a Mia Farrow thing going on”) to the North Dakota prairies, is premiering exclusively online here at Style.com. Before you hit Target on December 20 to shop the collection (FYI: Tavi’s faves are a lace cardi in a “sixties mustard color” and a Bonnie and Clyde-inspired “kind of mohair-ish” vest), read our Q&A and watch this clip.
What attracts you to Tavi and why did you want her to be a part of this video?
Kate and Laura: She is a mix between J.D. Salinger, Dorothy Parker, and Cindy Sherman. Our favorite combination!
What was it like meeting the Mulleavy sisters for the first time?
Tavi: I was nervous because I had been a great admirer of Rodarte for a long time. But they were really relaxed and down-to-earth and had so many interesting things to say. I remember when we went to the Olvera Street market I picked up a pack of Mexican bingo cards and they couldn’t believe I didn’t already own any.
Is Tavi the person different from her online persona? If so, how?
Kate: When spending time with Tavi, I am always astonished by her observations. Tavi is a writer in every sense. Her way of interacting with the world comes from a sensitivity and madness that belongs to poets and bank robbers.
What was the collaboration process on this video like? And what did you learn from it?
Tavi: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and I think you can tell—or it’s very noticeable to me, at least—how in the videos I first shot my voice is slightly shaky. But again, Kate and Laura are very relaxed and really wanted to make it fun, and it was. I took away from it more of an idea of what goes on at a photo shoot or editors’ preview—not just the process but the thoughts behind it and how people with different styles or visions can collaborate or enjoy the same things. It was interesting to see how editors with such individual tastes could interpret the pieces differently but still all enjoy them.
I also never realized how important attention to detail is, but Laura and Kate and Autumn [de Wilde] and everyone made sure they were confident in every decision concerning the shoots. That’s when you know people are really passionate about something.
Any funny anecdotes about the collaboration?
Kate: Tavi’s mother sang us all a Norwegian lullaby one night on the way to visit an old Czech church that was kept open for us to see under the stars while we were in North Dakota.
What was it like working on the collection for Target?
Kate: Working on the Target line allowed Laura and me to stretch the breadth of our work, while, at the same time, staying true to our aesthetic sensibility.
If you could have every piece of the Rodarte for Target collection or just one piece from Rodarte’s Spring 2010 collection, which would you choose?
Tavi: This is hard…but proooobably Spring 2010 because I can afford the Target line! I think I would pick look 19…It combines many of my favorite visual components of the collection and the burnt fabrics are so delicate-looking. I just want you to know I spent a long time laboring over this decision and had to write down a lot of stuff to figure it out. Never ask me such a question again.
Any predictions on which Rodarte for Target piece will be the most wanted by shoppers?
Tavi: I’m thinking one of the ballerina slip-shoulder bow dresses. The silhouette is like a Rodarte staple and I love the idea of clouding a slip with tulle. Either that or the leopard-print dress. It’s painted lace, has three bows on the back, and has such character to it.
What would you like to see Rodarte do next?
Tavi: It would be really cool if they started their own planet or something, but realistically speaking, a book club or Mexican bingo night would be cool, too. Really though, I just want them to continue to be inspired because so far only good things have come out of that.