>> Along with the announcement that Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan will open the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 1 comes the release of the first images from the film — including a first look (left) at the 40 costumes Laura and Kate Mulleavy designed for the movie's entire ballet corps. Their work will be featured in the film's scenes from "Swan Lake," and this marks Rodarte's first foray into costuming for film.
The Mulleavys were honored last night for winning the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards fashion design category by host Michelle Obama, but pulled out on attending the ceremony early yesterday morning. Their spokesman sent an email saying that the designers “had a change of plans," later adding that they “had a family obligation to attend to in Los Angeles."
>> Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy Appearing on The Martha Stewart Show Next Week —Martha Stewart had a host of fashion figures on her show last month, and she's not stopping: next Thursday, May 20, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte will be featured as part of "The Siblings Show." According to the release, "Kate and Laura will be showcasing five of their couture creations and explaining the unique process of bringing their distant memories of Pasadena, California to life through their eccentric pieces."
>> "We were losers," Rodarte's Kate Mulleavy proclaimed to the audience who came to hear her and sister Laura get peppered with questions at FIT in New York Tuesday night. Kate was speaking of the time before she and Laura were designers, and instead were college graduates, sitting at home watching six films a day. Laura eventually picked up a waitressing gig, but as for Kate, she did, in her own words, "nothing." Later, Kate added of their current state: "Technically, we shouldn't even be up here. In a weird way, it's like we had a stream of circumstances where I look at now and think, 'This is so crazy that this happened to us.' But we're probably the least likely people that it should have happened to."
>> Another Fashion Film Planned from Rodarte; Gia Coppola Shoots Video for Zac Posen for Target —Fashion films continue to proliferate — Business of Fashion just put together a list of their top ten for the season — and already, two more are queued up. Last night at the Los Angeles screening for "Aanteni," the short film featuring Guinevere van Seenus that Rodarte did in collaboration with close friend Todd Cole, Cole revealed that he plans to shoot another short for the label next month, featuring the Fall 2010 Rodarte collection. “I never really understand what we do until I see how others interpret our work,” said Kate Mulleavy. “I trust Todd because we see things in the same way, but he takes it to the next level.” Also in attendance was Gia Coppola, who said she just shot a video for Zac Posen's Target collection, to hit the Internet later this month. [WWD]
>> For two consecutive seasons, Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH's fashion division, has been front row at Rodarte's show. But according to Fashion Week Daily, LVMH may have lost out on being the first to employ Laura and Kate Mulleavy.
The sisters are reportedly in contract negotiations with French furrier Revillon, which Peter Dundas last designed for; the company opted not to show during the most recent Paris Fashion Week due to lack of a designer. The Mulleavys' first collection for Revillon will apparently be shown in July alongside Paris couture. "It's still a huge secret," The Daily's source said. "But the higher-ups at Revillon started pitching it to retailers during Paris Fashion Week."
Brian Phillips, Rodarte's spokesman, denies the reports. "Rodarte is not designing for Revillon."
>> Laura and Kate Mulleavy Designed Ballet Costumes For Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan Film—After Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy signed with WME last September to explore entertainment opportunities, it was only a matter of time before their work showed up on film. Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan seems a good fit, not only because of the Mulleavys' love for horror films (Black Swan is a thriller), but because Natalie Portman, who attended the Fall 2010 Rodarte show, stars alongside Mila Kunis. The movie features scenes from "Swan Lake," for which the Mulleavys designed ballet costumes. [WWD]
>> LVMH Still Keeping Front Row Eye on Rodarte —For the second season in a row, Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH's fashion division, who plays a key role in spotting talent for LVMH labels, was front row at Rodarte. When asked about possible placement of Laura and Kate Mulleavy within the LVMH portfolio, Roussel played coy. All he would say: "We still love what they do." [WWD Blog]
>> A number of designers have been doing all black for Fall 2010, but between Marc Jacobs yesterday and Rodarte today with their parade of pales, we're left wondering: is soft the new loud? The theme of the day was sleepwalkers, Laura and Kate Mulleavy said backstage, with some inspiration drawn from the Mexican border town of Juarez.
As the lights went down in the Gagosian Gallery, a centerpiece of white candles, dripping wax everywhere, was lit at the runway entrance, and white confetti was thrown on floor, causing the photographer pit to break out in a rendition of "Happy Birthday, Rodarte." Soon, a trail of girls, including Karen Elson, who's been walking a surprising number of shows this season, and Jamie Bochert, entered the smoky room, filling it with patchwork tops, Aztec eagle prints, and even a few pairs of pants. The look was very Virgin Suicides — appropriately, Kirsten Dunst was front row (along with Tavi Gevinson, Chloe Sevigny, Ryan McGinley, Natalie Portman, and Jason Schwartzman) — floaty wedding dresses with ivory and white crochet, lace chiffon, feathers, and pearls. The shoes, meant to look like the models were floating on melted candle wax, had drippings on their heels.
In true Rodarte fashion, four (instead of the usual three) white be-gowned models were left standing in stilted formation at the end; black lights were turned on for the finale procession to "Blue Moon," causing the gowns and confetti on the ground to glow blue in the dark, and revealing lights in the shoes. Cathy Horyn weighs in: "Re Rodarte, concept of randomness not fully developed or particularly novel. We've seen broken brides before. Rei?" Full video of the show can be seen here.
>> All the top tickets in town are jumping on the livestream bandwagon. First, Marc Jacobs announced his 500 person, front-row only show would be open and shown live to the public via the Intertubes a couple of days ago, and today, Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, and Rodarte have all announced they're entering the ring this season as well.
The Wang and Rodarte shows will both be presented live on Nick Knight's Showstudio.com, with Wang's debuting at 5 pm EST on Feb. 13 and Rodarte's at noon EST on Feb. 16. Calvin Klein, meanwhile, will broadcast their women's show on calvinkleincollection.com and Facebook at 3 pm on Feb. 18.
>> New York Fashion Week Tidbits: Rodarte, Alexander Wang Working with Nick Knight on Films, and more —Alexander Wang and Laura and Kate Mulleavy must have liked the video of Raquel Zimmermann writhing among snakes that Nick Knight produced for the backdrop of Alexander McQueen's Spring 2010 show: Knight is said to be working with both Wang and Rodarte on fashion films for their upcoming shows. Erin Wasson, meanwhile, is said to be inspired by Jimi Hendrix for her upcoming RVCA collection, and Cushnie et Ochs are collaborating with Albertus Swanepoel on hats for Fall 2010. [WWD, Nylon, W Magazine]