In Fall 2018, in honor of its 30th anniversary, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. will be hosting its first-ever fashion exhibition. The museum selected Rodarte, the American luxury label, as the subject of its special exhibit. Founded by Kate and Laura Mulleavy back in 2005, Rodarte represents a conceptual and innovative brand. The duo is known for their artistic mixture of haute couture, modern femininity and California influences. Rodarte is a brand that continuously nourishes the idea of intricately crafted, multi-layered garments and exploring different art forms. Due to its unique approach to designing clothes and strong connections to both the film and art worlds, museum director Susan Fisher Sterling decided that Mulleavy sisters are just perfect fit for the job.
‘They work a lot like artists in the sense that they’re almost artisanal in the way they produce their work; they somewhat go against the grain of having a really huge schedule of shows. They tend to take time with their collections and they live in L.A. and have an interesting relationship with film and the art scene’, Sterling stated.
Rodarte launched its first collection in 2005 during the New York Fashion Week– a collection comprised of 10 hand-finished pieces. The duo won numerous awards and accolades, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year, United States Artists Grant, and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion in 2009, the National Arts Award from Americans for the Arts in 2010, and most recently, the Legend of Fashion Award from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. They have actually already held their first solo-exhibition titled ‘Quicktake: Rodarte’ at the Cooper-Hewitt in February 2010, and were the first fashion designers in 20 years to be reviewed in Artforum. Another exhibition that captivated the world of fashion was the States of Matter, held at MOCA– Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center- which represents the examination of their work. Their Fall 2011 collection was voted in the Best Collection of the Season by Vogue, and named a Top 10 collection for their Fall 2015 collection. For the 50th anniversary re-release of Breathless by Jean Luc Godard, Rodarte designed limited edition posters and t-shirts. Okay, it is safe to say that the sisters have definitely earned their place at the museum!
(Additional note: Rodarte skipped New York Fashion Week last season and decided to host an intimate presentation in Paris instead. The traditional fashion week calendar means nothing to this daring duo, so it safe to assume that the rebel sisters will prepare a lavish treat for fashion- and art!- lovers)
Although there are 12+ months left before the exhibition is opened, there is no doubt that it will bring a much needed fashion escape to the austere Washington. Let’s wait and see! Until then, check out the atmosphere from States of Matter exhibition in the gallery bellow.
Photo Credit: Vogue and The New York Times