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rodarte 3

Slash and burn. Rip tide. Fashion Arson. Trailblazing. The Sœurs Mulleavy are a force to be reckoned with. A backstage interview goes something like this: “Yeah, she was a witch that got burned at the stake and came back as a vulture, yeah!” At which point the interviewer takes a few tentative steps backwards whilst secretly trying to seek out the nearest fire exit. The prom scene from Carrie flashes through her mind. She starts to perspire slightly. Thank God she chose to wear the black Lanvin with bracelet sleeves – they might not notice…

Oh, yes, the Sœurs Mulleavy love a good horror movie. Their latest collection shown at New York Fashion Week, under the Rodarte moniker [a friend once comically quipped Rodent Arte!!! Haha!]  brought to mind a little known B movie called Superstition. A medieval sorceress gets burned at the stake and drowned in a lake. Many centuries later – 1984, actually – she returns to haunt the lakeside house and seek her revenge. Hokum of the highest order but quite fun to watch.

I’m in two minds about Les Sœurs Mulleavy. On one hand they have a really strong aesthetic that is unmistakably their’s. On the other, I struggle to see the clothes. I felt a pang of disappointment when I realised the Atzec-y tattoos weren’t clever tulle bodysuits onto which their collage dresses were underpinned but just… tattoos. I wondered what the clothes would look like once you took them out of the show setting, off the back of some ludicrously lanky model and hung it on a rack in a store next to say a Lanvin dress. How would it match up? I also find myself playing spot-the-difference with the outfits. Ah, this one has a slightly higher neckline. Right.

Well I guess in New York it pays to be different. No 50’s couture inspired dressing here. Or generic downtown cool. They make a statement alright. I just wish they would start to move the clothes on a bit.

P.S. The film Superstition came out the same year as Firestarter AND the Thriller video – 1984. Spooky…


What’s that old adage again? In times of economic upturn hemlines go up? If this holds true then there might be a pearlescent glimmer of hope on the horizon…

The Three Wise Men of fashion have spoken – Christopher Kane, Christophe Decarin [@ Balmain] and Rick Owens – and the future could start to look a little less bleak. A little windy ’round the er, mulberry bush, ahem, but definitley a bit more sparkly…

The Mile  Thigh Club is how I like to refer to this sartorial harbinger of better times. Hemlines that are practically necklines and, in addition, lateral slits up each thigh that Give Good Pelvic Ventilation. Oh, yeah! Let the good times roll!

Retailers around the world clap hands with glee ’cause El Cruncho seems like its finally gonna bid us farewell! Time to burn plastic again! Time to start seeing private taxis as a basic human right once more! Stay in? I don’t think so! Not on your nelly. Gonna let me hair down, slap on some lippy and slink my way into a slither of draped chainmail. Let the good times roll indeed!  Hallelujah!

[I hope I’m not tempting fate…]



Balenciaga ss2010 - white shirt

Balenciaga Spring-Summer 2010.


Oh, yes, Nicky boy seems to have come back down to earth and what other-worldly beauties he brings us. After last season’s Belle du Jour time travelling debacle our Nicholas has gone back to the streets. Amazing.

Amazing pants.

Amazing Sherman Tank hoodie thingies [see previous post Fashion Fatigue].

Control deck collage dresses.

Best of all though is his take on the generic white shirt. I want this. I need this! It’s the new oxygen.

Shirts have been so over-looked recently, however grandiose that might sound. Love these bad boys. The Pope meets 2001 Space Odyssey in an intergalactic confessional.

Pop-e your collar!



The show notes at Raf Simons for Jil Sander in Milan last week [I wasn’t there, by the way] cite the film Zabriskie Point – love and sociopathic misdemeanours in an urban/desert setting. Ripped, frayed edges. Rough-hewn. Happenstance. Make do and mend. Rhythm in chaos. And so forth…

I saw something else.

A very popular breakfast cereal, actually.

Shredded Wheat, actually.

Real Shredded Wheat. And Oliver Twist.

I can see it now. Raf boy, in his arte-povera get-up going up to the orphanage maîtresse – Suzy/Cathy/Sarah – and asking, “could I have more shredded wheat please?”


“More shredded wheat, please…”

At this point La Maîtresse will pull Raf up to her bosom, give him a hug, stroke his hair and coo from her-her-her triple lips: “Of course you can, my darling, of course you can! Miuccia, another Shreddie for Raf. NOW!” [You see, Miuccia has been a very, very naughty girl this season and as punishment she wont be having any breakfast until  the next round of pre-collections at least.]

He is Raf and he can do no wrong in her-her-her eyes.

See for yourself. The man has a winning way with ripping and melding fabric. The way he subtly layered texture was quietly  powerful. He put bone white with cream  and made it work which is extremely difficult to do. The styling was also great. The way the models hiked up their belted hessian-y coats and put their hands in the pockets of those beautifully cut mannish trousers created a hybrid 50s meets Victoriana silhouette. Very clever. And the focus on daywear was also quite refreshing. I must say, I thought it was rather beautiful. A tad overlong and a few shockers here and there. But beautiful all the same. Sexy, cerebral [sic cereal] clothes that felt new even though he was reading from a well-thumbed manual. That takes genius. Talk about needle in a haystack!

Go on, Raf, you can have two.