It seems unfair to simply call Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte ‘designers’. They are craftswomen. Visionaries.
And their segway from ready-to-wear to couture to costume design has transcended the runway and become works of art worthy of art museum exhibitions.
Which is why they are at the LACMA from Dec 17-Feb 5th with a brand spankin’ new collection.
This would be the Mulleavy’s second museum exhibition and their inspiration for this latest collection is Italian art, Roman frescoes and the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the Baroque sculpture. Utilizing their standard spectacular craftsmanship and expert manipulation of silk, organza, lame, chiffon, satin, taffeta and tulle as well as hand-forged gold metallic elements and crystal details, the Mulleavy’s have created works of art worthy of a show in the Renaissance gallery.
The Mulleavy’s have won several awards for their work including CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion, and the 2010 National Arts Award from Americans for the Arts, and have pieces in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum at FIT in New York City.
The last collection of theirs to be featured in a museum was their States of Matter exhibition which featured pieces from their Black Swan costume collection.
The merging of fashion and art is nothing new, and I’ve talked about it at length various times on this site, but it’s still refreshing to see real design and wearable art getting the recognition it deserves. And most importantly, getting a wider audience to appreciate and understand the talent and artistic integrity that goes into high fashion, and how it is easily an art form in and of itself.