Home FASHION RUNWAY Looking Back: En Plein Air with Rodarte S/S 2012

Looking Back: En Plein Air with Rodarte S/S 2012


The Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte were inspired by one of the greatest artists, Van Gogh. They didn’t only look to the artist’s works but also to fairytales, specifically Sleeping Beauty.

By mixing these two elements these designers were able to hypnotize their audience through the Rodarteway they presented Van Gogh’s works. Their focus was to tell a story of a struggling outsider, a faded memory of the artist.

They expressed this idea by translating the artist’s brushstrokes into textile manipulations and embellishments. By digitizing the masterpieces and showing them pixilated, the paintings were reborn into something new and wearable.

When this runway show happened two years ago, some may have thought it would be an overused idea, however the designers proved them wrong.  They made it their own through the manipulation of the images and telling a hazy and obscured narrative.

The dresses that came down the runway were modern day fairytale silhouettes. This was the inspiration from Sleeping Beauty the designers at Rodarte were leaning towards. Each dress was distinctive and expressive with a sense of ethereal princess.

The fabrics were varying, from satins and silk chiffons. The dresses had many folded and manipulated layers. As well they were covered in embellishment not only through the prints but through metallic embroideries, brocades and hand-stitched adornments.

The show began with the sunflower yellows and sky blues that the artist so often gravitated to in his palettes. These colours grew into bright purples and greens, hypnotizing the audience not only through the patterns of the paintings but their colours as well. Finally the finale ended the show with the ever-famous “Starry Night,” in a pixilated and broken up style that made it unique.

Overall the Mulleavy sisters achieved something many thought were impossible. They breathed new life into Van Gogh’s masterpieces by making them their own through design. What they achieved was a true romantic fragility that no other designer could have done.


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