Fashion Show Review: Rodarte Fall 2019
The sun was shining down on the Rodarte Fall 2019 show in its hometown of Los Angeles, California. In a glass-ceiling rotunda the California sunshine was streaming in to illuminate the hypnotic colour and vibrancy of a collection that would not disappoint. A far cry from the disastrous New York City spring Show, where an outdoor runway was drenched by torrential downpour, this atmosphere set everyone buzzing with anticipation. Vines and flowers lined the walls (perhaps a nod to the resurgence of the sustainable fashion movement), giving the room an organic feel: but the neon lights embedded within the flora were an electrifying contrast.
Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, founders and current directors of the brand, captured in their collection a delightful sense of fun through the unexpected. Neon colours ruled the runway: a dazzling sensory overload that saw electric tights and floral patterns combine. Here, the word of the day was maximalism: from the dramatic headpieces and huge shoulders all the way down to slinky hemlines. Often black-and-white articles were effectively paired with neon to create juxtaposition: teasing us with the infinite possibilities of brightness and vitality. Combinations stood out as imaginative and effective: neon green and purple, crimson and royal blue. There was never a dull moment. Texture was also varied –– the metallics of the runway and sequin looks played nicely with the vinyl –– a background to colour. On a circular runway, the sense of originality was heightened.
Rodarte has often been known for playing with notions of femininity, and this year the styles embraced the 2019 notion of women who can be empowered AND embrace their feminine side. Pairing girlish ruffles and sequins with the more moody leather and vinyl, Rodarte embodied the modern bad girl. The striking red beauty looks and block eyeshadows reinforced this, while a dark lip added bite. Many Fall runways this year saw the return of the ‘power-shoulder’, resurrected from the ‘80s –– the Rodarte silhouette of dramatic shoulders and tiny cinched waists recalled this but didn’t take itself too seriously. A particularly striking piece was a royal-blue dress with an outrageously oversized bow; the Mulleavy sisters were not afraid to subvert outdated notions that feminists can’t be fashionable.
It was impossible not to revel in the effervescence of the Rodarte collection. The show itself offered a dreamy mania that we cannot help but fall in love with. If the notion of a ‘Rodarte Girl’ is clothed anything like the Fall 2019 models, and exudes the same confidence, quirkiness and style, feel free to count me in.
Images courtesy of Vogue.com