August 23 2014

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24 posts tagged "Kate Mulleavy"

Band Of Outsiders And Rodarte To Headline Pitti In June


Florence is going all-American this June. Pitti Immagine, which sponsors the seasonal Pitti Uomo and Pitti W fairs, will host two California-based designers as its guests: Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders for the men’s fair, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte for the women’s. According to Pitti’s Lapo Cianchi, the local connection between the two is no accident. “Rodarte and Band of Outsiders are two very different design talents,” Cianchi says, “but they both connect us to the mythology of Western America: Los Angeles, where all three designers live and work; film, which they are obviously interested in; and the expanses of the interstate highway that runs through California or heads into the desert of Nevada. The European curiosity about California culture and the landscape played an important role in Pitti’s decision to invite both designers to Florence at the same time.”

Rodarte joins a roster of past Pitti W guest designers that includes Gareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann, and Giambattista Valli; Band of Outsiders follows Trussardi 1911, Corneliani, and Adam Kimmel.

Above: Fall 2011 looks from Rodarte (left) and Band of Outsiders (right).

Photos: Monica Feudi / (Rodarte); Marcus Tondo / (Band of Outsiders)

Meet Me—And The Best Of Balenciaga—In San Francisco


Cameron Silver, owner of L.A.’s vintage couture mecca Decades, knows his way around an original Balenciaga. He had plenty to ogle at the opening of Balenciaga and Spain at San Francisco’s de Young Museum this week. Silver headed to the City by the Bay for the opening fête; read on for his report on the star-studded evening.

Although my flight to San Francisco was delayed three hours due to the rain (not from Spain!), I managed to throw on my tux in the car and make it to the de Young Museum in time for the exhilarating opening of Balenciaga and Spain, curated by Hamish Bowles. The show features a breathtaking collection of the master’s work, including dresses worn by Ava Gardner and Mona Bismarck.

The dress code of the evening, no surprise, skewed toward Balenciaga, both vintage and from the current Ghesquière era. Google’s Marissa Meyer was in a vintage sea foam Balenciaga gown from Decades. Maria Bello looked fabulous in original Cristobal, too, and Suzy Dominik scored an even bigger coup—a vintage gown that was also featured in the show. (Sloan Barnett wore Lacroix but asked the curator the question everyone was thinking: “You have so many gowns—can’t I have one?”) On the contemporary end, Miranda Kerr (left, with husband Orlando Bloom in tow), Katie Schwab, and Lawren Howell all chose Ghesquière designs; Angelique Griepp and Katie Traina scored Edition pieces.

If the clothes were terrific, the guest list was nothing to scoff at, either. Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Mia Wasikowska (in Balenciaga with an Edition necklace), Balthazar and Rosetta Getty, Maggie Rizer, and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom all were there, and even Gwyneth Paltrow made a brief appearance. Hubert de Givenchy wasn’t able to attend, alas, but sent a message recalling advice given to him by Balenciaga himself: “Success is not prestige—success is temporary. Prestige remains.” The show was sewn proof.

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Rodarte’s Night At The Museum


It’s a Black Swan kind of week in L.A., as Natalie Portman looks likely to clinch the Oscar on Sunday. So what better time for her pals at Rodarte, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, to debut their first solo exhibition—of their Black Swan designs, no less? L.A. MOCA’s Jeffrey Deitch snagged the sisters’ designs for Rodarte: States of Matter, which opens March 4 at the museum. The tightly edited collection of Swarovski crystal-dusted costumes and other sculptural designs was brought to life by the duo’s longtime collaborator, French producer Alexandre de Betak, who also works on their runway shows. “We wanted to express the duality of dark and light,” de Betak explained at a preview of the exhibition last night, referencing the strict color theme and extreme lighting design. “It’s in the different textures they use and it was important to express that in the way we brought it all together—the fluorescent and then the moody lighting, the beautiful white costumes and the drama of the dark.”

Hot on the heels of their Fall ’11 show, the critical darlings attracted an impressive showing considering Oscar week’s tight social calendar. In town for Barry Diller’s pre-Oscar luncheon, CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg stopped in to congratulate the sisters and spent time with André Balazs, while guests like China Chow, Liz Goldwyn, and Audrey Marnay milled. Even crosstown rival LACMA’s Michael Govan arrived with his wife, Balenciaga’s Katherine Ross, in Rodarte for the occasion.

Of their first solo exhibition, Kate Mulleavy felt they’d found the perfect home. “It’s so amazing because MOCA is such a special cultural place in Los Angeles and even globally now. Having grown up here, it’s such an honor. We’ve never really done anything like this before in Los Angeles.” And it appears collaborating with de Betak was key. “It makes it even more special to do it with Alex. He’s such an incredible artist and what he does allows us to build these worlds. The fact that he took a chance on us even though we’re still relatively younger and independent is amazing, and being able to continue to work together so many seasons is special.”

Photo: Billy Farrell/

Rodarte For Opening Ceremony Arrives
(If You Can Catch It)


Today, Opening Ceremony debuts its latest designer collaboration, a large men’s and women’s collection designed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. The range will hit all Opening Ceremony stores (in New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo) as well as select others like Barneys and Holt Renfrew, and retail for considerably less than the duo’s main collection. In anticipation of the 11 a.m. on-sale time (that’s when the store will throw open its doors, though you can already order many of the pieces online), we’ve selected a few of our favorite looks from the new offering. Get them while you can.

Pictured: Bandeau swing dress (pre-order), $865; Double lapel short jacket, $610, and draped skirt, $450; Stained gauzy button-down, $280, and Tom Petty hat, $460; all available at

Photos: Courtesy of Opening Ceremony

The Swan Wore Black


At most big-ticket movie premieres, what the stars wear on the red carpet is the main attraction. In the case of Black Swan, the roll-call outfits at the New York premiere this week were no slouch—Dior, Elie Saab, Givenchy, and Naeem Khan among them—but the most excitement may have been caused by the frocks on screen. That’s what you get when you hire Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy to design a working wardrobe for your ballet fantasia-cum-horror epic. Here, the sisters share two of their sketches for the film’s costumes—the main characters of Odette as the maiden and of Odile as the demonic Black Swan—exclusively with

“If I had imagined a dream film, this is definitely the one to sign us up for,” Laura said. “The big question was, how can you create a whole Swan Lake ballet to coincide with the modern set of this film?” But that wasn’t the only big question—the other was one few designers encounter: How can you make clothes that are ballet-friendly? “It was very technical, because everyone had to be able to dance,” Kate added. “For example, the crown—the demon Rothbart has a metal crown that’s made with horns, and the Black Swan has a metal crown in chrome. That was a big debate, whether they could wear them as dancers.”

But necessity was the mother of invention. The crowns made it into the film, where they’re chillingly dramatic in its final scenes—but chrome they’re not. The Mulleavys ended up making the Black Swan crown out of lightweight copper, which they then burned to achieve their desired effect. “The crown is so coveted because it is symbolic of getting the role of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake—it’s part of this whole thing of getting the role. When it was time to do the Black Swan, that more intensely had to be linked to this demonic, menacing idea, [so] using metal became more important,” said Laura (on set with Portman, below). “Technically it was almost impossible, but we made it work.”

Plus, keep reading to see a few exclusive shots from on set by photographer Autumn de Wilde. Continue Reading “The Swan Wore Black” »