Rodarte finds inspiration in tide pools

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — Growing up in California, the Mulleavy sisters — Laura and Kate, designers of the Rodarte label — often visited Monterey, home to many tide pools. And so they chose tide pools, and the nature surrounding them, as the inspiration for their new spring collection.

"The pools, the rocks, the seaweed, the lichen," said Laura Mulleavy backstage, listing the various elements that inspired the duo. "And that developed into this idea of piers. What would it be like to live on a pier? Things like that."

The theme came across in colors — sea foam, for example, and aqua, along with the rocklike colors of olive green and gray. And in textures, like netting (to recall fish nets) and macramé on dresses.

But there's also brightness in the sea, and luxury too, apparently: Some of the dresses were rich in sequins, lame, feathers and crystals. One high-profile item, closing the show, was a hand-painted gown in pink, blue and green, featuring hand-embroidered feather lace, iridescent sequins, and Swarovski crystals.

On the more casual side, the show opened with different takes on denim: White denim jeans, paired with a silk chiffon ruffled blouse, or black denim, with an iridescent sequin tank top. There were also comfy overcoats with big pockets, in canvas, leather and corduroy; it does get nippy around those tide pools, even in the spring.