Rodarte’s Legendary Van Gogh Collection
Laura and Kate Mulleavy made it as designers with respective degrees in Art History and Literature, but zero formal training in fashion. Pasadena natives, the sisters began their company at their parents’ kitchen table, dropped everything to move to New York, and secured meetings with Bergdorf’s and Anna Wintour after sending handmade paper dolls around town. Emerging as wunderkinds, the sisters put Rodarte on the map with their couture-inspired touches and a chic take on “pretty.” A project designing the December 2013 cover for Garage Magazine with their favorite artist, John Baldessari, is the most recent in a series of forays into the art world, which also included an exhibition of Fra Angelico-inspired gowns at LACMA in 2011. Perhaps most notable in terms of art-inspired fashion was their Spring 2012 ready-to-wear collection inspired by Vincent van Gogh.
The Mulleavy sisters explained the collection...
“If I said to you van Gogh relates to Los Angeles, you would say, well, what are you talking about? Well, weirdly enough it’s that we live down the street from a museum that has van Gogh’s portrait of his mother—the one that’s all poison green—and we kept looking at this portrait, and then up on this mountain, which is right near where we live is an observatory called Mount Wilson. There’s a telescope where they were recording sunspots and when we were doing the collection on van Gogh, one of the things we did was take sunspots and transformed them into sunflowers, and this connection was made.”