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Ruffles and florals and bows, oh my! Toss in sweet heart prints, eyelet, sugary sequins, and fabric twisted into petal-inspired folds that mirrored the shape of plants in the botanical gardens and the Rodarte fall-winter 2019 show felt like a Valentine to Los Angeles. It makes sense, given that designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy hail from Pasadena and have a flair for fairy-tale romance.
“I went to The Huntington as a kid and my grandma was a docent here; she worked here!” Kate Mulleavy told The Hollywood Reporter, gesturing to the setting of the Tuesday afternoon fashion show. “I think our love for L.A. really came out in the show, so it was fun for us. After however many years we’ve done this, somewhere between 10 and 12, it felt natural to come and do a show where we live. So many of our collections are inspired by California anyway.”
Noting that the Huntington Library, established in 1919, is celebrating its centennial this year, Laura Mulleavy said that the collection took the tribute a step further, with inspiration derived from Hollywood’s golden age movie musicals — also a theme of the spring-summer 2019 Gucci ad campaign. “The collection was really referencing musicals in an abstract way. The idea of dance in cinema from the ‘30s to the ‘70s was interesting to us in the colors and fabrications.”
“We reference All That Jazz, one of my favorite movies of all time,” said Kate Mulleavy of the 1979 Bob Fosse film. “It’s a movie I’ve lived with for so long and watched so many times that it really came out in some of the silhouettes in the show. There are also references to Ginger Rogers. Little berets and odes to dance. Certain things were just appealing to us like glitter and bows. All funneled through our interpretation; we don’t ever do anything in a literal way.”
Technicolor glitter was artfully painted on the models’ lips and eyelids, while bows showed up on tights and leather bustiers, skirts and dresses–there was even a giant cobalt bow-shaped clutch bag.
An influence of nature and the botanical garden setting was also apparent in the floral, bird and butterfly motifs (hand-drawn by Kate) that branched into cuff bracelets, earrings, hair clips and elaborate hair bouquets fashioned by hairstylist Odile Gilbert. Some models carried colorful bunches of calla lilies. Strappy sandals and booties with clear PVC insets that called to mind transparent rain ponchos felt especially right, given the stormy weather in L.A. lately.
“In L.A., we’re surrounded by all these amazing national parks and Angeles National Forest,” said Kate Mulleavy. “We’re in the middle of this incredible natural landscape and yet we’re also in an imaginary landscape, a world of musicals, which in terms of film is even a more fantastical leap that people break out into song and dance.”
Given the label’s star following, it was no surprise that the front row included Marisa Tomei, Stephan James, John C. Reilly, Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Foy, Elsie Fisher, Rowan Blanchard, Gia Coppola, Langley Fox Hemingway, Liberty Ross, musicians Kim Gordon, the Haim sisters, Miguel and more. Brie Larson, Tracee Ellis Ross and other guests wore flouncy, candy-colored tulle dresses from the spring 2019 Rodarte collection, but they surely noted the gorgeous new gowns in glittery Chantilly lace and vibrant silk organza that are destined for the red carpet.
Ross chatted with Diane Keaton, who donned a black turtleneck and tailored suit (she must have loved all the chic evening pants on the catwalk). The 73-year-old actress accessorized with a polka-dot pocket square, a wide-brimmed black hat and a glass of rosé.
Rodarte presented their collection in partnership with new female-focused luxury wine brand, JNSQ (named for the French phrase “je ne sais quoi”) from Stewart and Lynda Resnick’s The Wonderful Company. Tuesday marked the private debut of the JNSQ rosé cru and sauvignon blanc ($29 each) that will hit specialty wine stores and JNSQ.com by Valentine’s Day.
Designed to be sustainably reused, the curvaceous wine bottle was inspired by a vintage perfume bottle and comes with a rose- or grape-shaped glass stopper. “We live in an age where we don’t want single-use things; we want things that last,” Resnick, who is heavily involved in the product design, told THR.
“Our first design had a plain glass stopper and when it came in, I said, ‘It’s just not right; it needs something!'” she continued. “Since we also own Teleflora, I said, ‘Bring me every flower in the building!’ They brought in this perfect white rose and I put it in the bottle and everyone stood up and applauded. Working with the girls was an inspiration for us. Wasn’t it a gorgeous show? I have to get that blue dress for Fiji Water!” (Resnick owns the brand that made headlines after the so-called “Fiji Water Girl,” who is now suing the company, stole the red carpet show at the Golden Globes.)
“We’re so used to traveling for our shows, so it feels nice to be able to come together and have an event and just celebrate,” said Kate Mulleavy. “It’s always nice to have a glass of rosé. You can have the rosé at the fashion show. You can have it the night before when you’re working. It goes with everything! And it’s my favorite color, pink. I love pink!”
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