We wouldn’t be the same designers we are today if we had gone to fashion school,” declare the Mulleavy sisters, Kate and Laura, during a conversation with Canadian fashion icon, Jeanne Bekker held at The Room at The Bay last week. With a swarm of fans looking on, eagerly tuned in, the three industry tastemakers chatted happily, touching upon everything from the designers’ childhood to their booming present day career. The insight that shines through most prominently is their pride in coming from a non-fashion background. The Mulleavy’s, who both studied at the University of California at Berkeley, focused on art history and literature.
Rodarte is one of very few globally successful fashion brands that is not dictated by trends; these girls march to their own drummer. The label’s spring/summer collection being a perfect example, comprised of intricate pieces that line the walls of The Room like works of art. Instead of looking to the runway collections of their peers each season for the next inspiration, they look to their local galleries and museums, and the influence is undeniable.
This season, it was the works of renowned postimpressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, that spoke to them the most. Translating his infamous golden sunflowers and starry nights, onto dreamy dresses fit for Princess Aurora. (Yes, they also re-visited the 1959 animated Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty.) The end result is a collection that successfully combine the two modes of inspirations with the tender loving and stylishly quirky care that only the Rodarte sisters could offer.