|1.) Fall 2008: I WANT EVERYTHING! 2.) Spring 2011: My mind is crying tears of joy. 3.) Spring 2012: What are these feelings of betrayal? Why, Rodarte, why?!? All images courtesy of Vogue.com|
A note from the editor: When BARE isn't busy being a fabulous blog, you can find us out prowling the streets of Berkeley as a rather stunning magazine publication. BARE magazine's Editor-in-Chief, John Kim, is a man of impeccable taste, and I would trust him with anything (except maybe my bank account, which he would probably use to fund his Celine fetish), so it is with the utmost confidence that I present a new series entitled "Memo From the Editor". Here you can expect insights, observations, and words of wisdom from the man some people call "the cooler version of Anna Wintour" (false), without any of the pretentiousness (true). Enjoy!
I'm a self-professed Rodarte fan. Okay, a fan would be an understatement--more like a disciple to a deity. So it's not surprising that I was glued to my smartphone during class as the photos went live from their show today during Fashion Week. First reactions were fantastic: they nailed the Van Gogh inspiration once again and came up with some innovative fabrics in a well-thought out story.
But as I look more closely at the clothes, I'm unfortunately a bit disappointed. There was a bit of sameness in their garments, something that's started to peak into their work since their Spring 2011 collection when rumors of a possible LVMH back-up were spreading like wildfire. I, personally, go to Rodarte to see what no one else in the American market can even think of. Their silhouettes, color schemes, fantasy-inducing clothes speak for themselves and are never put into a trend category like any other designer. They're a breath of fresh air. But the pressure from "the public" to become more commercial has had a negative consequence on the Mulleavy sisters' creativity. Gone are the days when dresses were draped with pearl, lace, stained cheesecloth, and burned chiffon (all in one look, too!). You could tell there was more attention in the variety of fabrics and the draping of the skirts when business wasn't so hot. Odd-length dresses have been replaced with modest knee skirts and the most trim you'll probably see is an embroidered hem. I long for the old days.
While asking $10,000 for a knit dress was a bold and hazardous move on their part, Rodarte has to keep distinguishing itself from other labels that try to cut back costs to gain more markup. Streamlining their garments isn't going to make the true Rodarte customer begging for more. As the brand starts to catch-on to the general public, I believe there's a way to keep designing for themselves, as opposed to their new imposed customers, while keeping costs from rocketing. No doubt it's a much tougher job than it sounds. But until they figure out the perfect marriage of Bergdorfs and Badlands, I'll be on my toes. Maybe they'll have to cut off an ear or two.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!