Lady-Like & Cartoonish. Rodarte SS20

So here we go again – the official (I emphasize ‘official’, as we’ve already seen Jacquemus in Provance and Vetements in McDonald’s two months ago as the aperitif of the season) fashion month triathlon is upon us! Lets start with Rodarte, which is a brand that navigates between Los Angeles and New York. Kate and Laura Mulleavy took a tactic they tried out for the first time a few seasons ago. No fashion show, but a look-book feauturing women they love and are friends with. This season’s bold, 80s-heavy sequins, ruffles and polka-dots are worn by the always amazing Kristen Dunst (I hope you’re watching On Becoming a God in Central Florida that’s airing now), Yalitza Aparicio, the sisters from Haim band, Margaret Qualley, Rowan Blanchard, Kiernan Shipka and basically all the girls Rodarte dresses for different occasions. All these women have a certain spark that feels so close to Rodarte and its dreamy womanhood concept behind. But put the look-book’s cast apart, there’s nothing ground-breaking about the collection – it’s a signature Rodarte line-up filled with couture-ish gowns. This time, though, the aesthetic feels more like Fragonard’s The Swing remixed with Slim Aarons’ photographs of rich, suburbian families having their garden parties. Lady-like combined with cartoonish. No other brand would pull this off without looking ridiculous.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Organza Fantasy. Tomo Koizumi AW19

When you become a Marc Jacobs protegé, are allowed to present your collection in his Madison Avenue store, get Katie Grand as a stylist, Pat McGrath for the make-up, and Gwendoline Christie, Karen Elson, Rowan Blanchard and Bella Hadid walk your debut show, be sure you will be on everybody’s lips for the rest of New York fashion week. But, all this very helpful support is just the cherry on the cake, because Tomo Koizumi‘s fashion is a star in itself. Although I would be cautious with calling Koizumi’s autumn-winter 2019 a fantasy of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino heights, this outing really was a fantasy that is just what New York needs. In the crowd of post-Philo aesthetic and too-edgy styling, Tomo’s polyester organza pieces, kept in all the shades of rainbow, are a true fairy-tale. Capes, ball-skirts, gowns of different lengths – all looking like a candy-sweet armour. Where will this major debut take Koizumi and his distinct style? Time will show. But it’s worth mentioning that Jacobs should be praised for helping out a new talent with his great platform. Hope to see more of initiatives like this in the upcoming seasons.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Femininities. Rodarte AW18

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When actors, musicians and celebrities appear in fashion, the result often results in lots of buzz and fuss. But for Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the autumn-winter 2018 Rodarte look-book is about “portraits of friends”. By “friends”, they mean their long-time muse and collaborator, Kirsten Dunst (she plays the main role in the sister’s debutant film, Woodshock –  worth watching) who poses in a red, floral gown, pregnant. She looks so blossoming. But it’s not only Dunst! There’s Grimes, whose ethereal, out-of-this-world music matches Rodarte vibes and that couture-ish Edwardiana frock; Chloe and Halle, the R&B duo, who twirl cherry-blossom umbrellas; Kim Gordon in a sharp leopard print-ensemble; Rowan Blanchard, actress/activist in a cute varsity jacket; Gia Coppola wearing a chic, faux-fur look; Miranda July, wearing a silk chiffon dotted dress; and others. Mulleavy sisters pursuit the idea of womanhood in their work for years, and this season they embrace that with double power. Choosing those women (who inspire them and represent different femininities) to model their clothes is the best possible choice the designers could make. I’m really, really in love.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.