Ombrophobia, step aside!

Instead of participating in runway shows and showrooms, Rodarte released their new Fall/Winter 2018 collection in a spectacular photo album by portraitist Autumn de Wilde— a photographer who has been documenting Rodarte since the first collection. Alluring photographs feature Rodarte ambassadors— Grimes, Chloe x Halle, Rowan Blanchard, Kim Gordon, Kirsten Dunst (and more) in sister & designer duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy delicate prêt-à-porter confections.

The models appear stunning in chiffon flounces and voluminous ruffles— resembling Victorian maidens— holding fresh, vibrant flowers and tree branches while posing in front of a rustic backdrop. Velvet butterfly embroidered tulle dress, faux fur and iridescent leather ensemble, light pink sequin dress, draped gowns and layers of satin portray the motto of the collection- “Women that inspire us”. Impressive couture aside, the spotlight unequivocally turns to the exquisite floral parapluies. Designed in collaboration with the L.A.-based florist Joseph Free, the unique umbrellas are made of fresh flowers and were inspired by the romanticism of the collection. “We collaborated on the idea together”, explained Free. “Kate, Laura, and I have a dynamic and extremely creative relationship. We love working together.” Australian Bells blooms, Geraldton Wax Flowers, Caspia and Leptospermum were hand-applied on Battenberg lace parasols. Like the finest haute accessories, the delicate umbrellas vary in texture and color. Their durability (as well as functionality) is, however, debatable.

Rowan Blanchard is photographed with wisps of Leptospermum, while Halle’s parasol is lush with Caspia branches to match her Cinderella-blue dress. “The flowers are applied by floral magic”, Free continued. The technical intricacies of each parasol’s construction are astonishing. The flower-adorned umbrellas thoroughly compliment the blooming collection. Although commonly considered as ready-to-wear, Rodarte designs are executed in couture-esque methods. They do not aim to please, yet they succeed in serving intriguing pieces that satisfy even the sharpest of critics. And, although crisp flowers are no news in fashion (remember Alexander McQueen Sarabande nude silk organza dress, embroidered with silk flowers and fresh flowers from 2007?), they certainly are a breath of fresh air in a seemingly mundane fashion era. The fact is, Rodarte offered something new. In the words of Miranda Priestly… Flowers? For spring fall? Now, that is groundbreaking.

Photo credit: Vogue