August 31 2014

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1 posts tagged "Pasadena"

Kate and Laura Mulleavy Miss Their Record Collection


Last month, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy became the first Americans ever to win the coveted Stella Award given out by the Swiss Textiles association. As well as floating a cool €100,000 the Mulleavys’ way, the award served to confirm what many fashion followers already knew about the sisters’ line: Rodarte is sui generis. Of course, they still live in their parents’ house in Pasadena. It may be a long way, both geographically and psychologically, from New York, but on a good day it’s a 20-minute drive from downtown L.A., a place where much of the brass-tacks work of fashion gets done; the Rodarte studio in Los Angeles is a hop-skip from the showrooms of the Cooper Building and the many factories where jeans are made. It’s a curious thing to discover Laura and Kate Mulleavy amid of all that commerce, cooling their heels at side-by-side desks and humming along to the theme song from Peanuts. But that was exactly the scene on the day stopped by for a studio visit. Here, they talk to us about pirate ships, misfits, and records playing in their heads.

I have to ask: The theme song from Peanuts?

Kate Mulleavy: This is the secret to L.A.; you listen to music from Peanuts. We realized it last night, driving—it was late, and the Peanuts theme was playing, and it’s like the whole city was transformed.

Laura Mulleavy: We passed a pirate ship. That was magical.

A pirate ship? Never mind—I’m not even going to ask.

LM: Yeah, it was weird.

Consolations of Peanuts and pirate ships aside, what keeps you in Southern California? You’re probably the only L.A.-based designers who could thrive in Paris, and on the other hand, the fashion community in New York would freak out with excitement if you decided to relocate.

KM: I think we’ve been really lucky in that we’re allowed to be a part of the New York fashion community, but because we’re based here, we also get to have our community in L.A. This is kind of a city of misfits, which I like. Once you get outside the whole Hollywood thing…

LM: You find these other scenes popping up on the side. L.A. has a very close-knit art scene, for instance. Everyone flocks together.

KM: And anyway, we have such a strong connection to California. We grew up here, we both went to Berkeley, and honestly, we really like Pasadena. Continue Reading “Kate and Laura Mulleavy Miss Their Record Collection” »