>> In the Jan. 18, 2010 edition of the New Yorker, Amanda Fortini profiles Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte and their quest to go against your typical "high gloss, high fashion, glamour, put-together, shiny, perfect — everything too exact" label, in the words of Laura. The Fall 2009 thigh-high wraparound boots Nicholas Kirkwood created for Rodarte, for example, were meant to evoke "hands wrapped in plastic in a morgue."
Kate told the magazine, "The most unhappy Laura or I have ever been was when we heard we made 'a pretty dress.' We want to make people think, and, once you decide to do that, you will have people that don't like what you're doing." She later added, "The other day, we were laughing that if we could take our clothes and bury them, and in ten years take them out, we would actually be satisfied [with how they look]."
>> Rodarte Sticking to Solely Womenswear For Now —Despite all the hubbub about the four cobwebbed men's sweaters Laura and Kate Mulleavy made for Opening Ceremony which OC co-founder Humberto Leon says have been "selling fast," don't expect an expanded offering anytime soon. A Rodarte spokesman confirms: “There are no plans for any other Rodarte men’s wear items at this time.” [WWD]
>> Ryan McGinley, Rodarte Collaborate for Olympics Shoot —Ryan McGinley, who has a history of shooting Olympic athletes — he contributed a portfolio of the US Olympic Swim Team back in 2004 to the New York Times Magazine — revealed at Art Basel over the weekend that he's at it again: “I've been in Utah. I've been shooting for the Winter Olympics, and I got Rodarte to make me the outfits. It looks crazy!” [Hint]
Alexander Wang Takes Home 2009 Swiss Textile Award; Kate Mulleavy On Why Her Label Is Called "Rodarte," Not "Mulleavy"
>> Alexander Wang is experiencing quite the winning streak — he was awarded the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund of $200,000 last November, the 2009 CFDA Swarovski Womenswear winner this past June, and now he's taking home the 2009 Swiss Textiles Award, a prize of about $150,000, to go towards international development. Wang becomes the second American designer in a row to win the Swiss Textiles Award, following after Rodarte, who were the first American winners ever last year.
The jury this year, chaired by Isabel Toledo, apparently had a tough time making a decision — Wang's fellow finalists this year were Peter Pilotto, Erdem, Thakoon, Alexis Mabille, and Ohne Titel, who will each receive a prize of approximately $6,000.
>> Laura Mulleavy told WWD she didn't sleep last night because she was so nervous about the Rodarte show — inspired by the singed Death Valley and "mangled and tattered" black vultures — today, but she had nothing to fear. The room was packed for her and her sister Kate's Spring 2010 collection debut; crunchy black sand was on the floor, dry ice smoke filled the room, and a musky scent wafted through the room as part of a collaboration with fragrance company Firmenich. The first look emerged from the silver cave opening-like set, all plaid and burnt cheesecloth. Following behind was lots of black, some feathers . . . deconstructed looks with tie dye and raw hems and patchwork. Every model had her arms painted with makeup to appear like tribal tattoes, goth lips, and their hair wrapped in webbed wool.
Tavi of Style Rookie, the Mulleavys' muse, was front row, Nicholas Kirkwood did the heels again, causing one tumble and a trip by Karlie Loss, and frequent Rodarte collaborator Autumne de Wilde was backstage filming a Rodarte movie. Full play-by-play here.
>> Olivier Theyskens still hasn't found a landing pad, design-wise, but in the meantime, he has a book in the pipeline. In January, Assouline is publishing the 186-page Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of the Picture, based on a collaboration between the designer and photographer Julien Claessens, who captured the backstage scene for 10-plus years.
Film buffs Rodarte, meanwhile, just signed with LA-based talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. WWD suggests that "a movie of their own could be in the cards," but for now, the official line is that William Morris plans to “advise the label on opportunities in publishing and film and identify potential strategic partnerships and sponsorships.”
>> The first issue of POP under Dasha Zhukova's guiding hand hits newsstands tomorrow at $8, with two international newsstand covers, each with a 50/50 split run, of Style Rookie's Tavi, plus a 500-copy limited-edition hardback cover by Ed Ruscha (below, left), and a limited subscriber's cover of Cicciolina for the Baltic States (below, right).
“The new Pop launches at an exciting turning point in fashion, where the possibilities and potential for creativity are almost overwhelming,” Zhukova told WWD. “The new era is more fluid than ever before; one where teenage girls in Chicago, fashion editors in Paris, street photographers from Berlin and bloggers everywhere . . . redefine the fashion landscape.”
UPDATE: The cover has been removed.
>> The first POP cover under Dasha Zhukova for Fall/Winter 2009, featuring 13-year-old blogger Tavi from Style Rookie in artwork by Damien Hirst, is said to be the image at right. Hirst's participation marks Dasha's push to make the magazine reach further than just the fashion world as it had primarily in the past; her goal when first appointed editor in February was to "provide a broader point of view focusing also on art, contemporary culture and the globalisation of all things pop-related."
We've had a blurry peak at one of the magazine's editorials inside; the cover also boasts a contribution by Juergen Teller, a M/M Paris "bookzine," a 25-year tribute to Naomi Campbell, and "a stem-cell research celebration by Rodarte." If Tavi is indeed on the cover, it's worth noting that a couple of weeks ago, a preview from LOVE's upcoming issue circulated featuring Tavi — ironic that her first two major magazine appearances happen to be in Katie Grand's former magazine (POP), and her current magazine (LOVE).
What a glorious day! It has just been announced that Kate and Laura Mulleavy are designing a 55-piece Rodarte line for Target Go International, which lands in stores and online on Dec. 20. "It’s very feminine, yet very modern. The collection incorporates a rich mix of patterns and fabrications and everything from sequins and bows to faux fur. The key with Rodarte is layering," said Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas. Prices will range from $9.99 for knee-highs to $79.99 for a leopard-print jacket. Also, expect to see a variety of holiday dresses. All of Target's designer collaborations have been great, but this one I'm standing in line for.
As expected, the 2009 CFDA awards ceremony brought out a bevy of dazzling models, designers, and celebrities — make sure to vote on our love it or hate it polls! While most came to party, others eagerly awaited the announcement of this year's winners. Let's see who took home the cake . . .
- Womenswear Designer of the Year: Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte
- Menswear Designer of the Year: Tie between Italo Zucchelli, Calvin Klein Collection, and Scott Sternberg, Band of Outsiders
- Accessories Designer of the Year: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler
- Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Alexander Wang
- Swarovski Award for Menswear: Tim Hamilton
- Swarovski Accessories Award: Justin Giunta, Subversive Jewelry
- International Award: Marc Jacobs
To see the rest of the winners, read more