Friday, February 25, 2011

Arty Farty Friday Fashion ~ Kate & Laura Mulleavy and Rodarte

Fashion fascinates. It can also irritate, amuse and puzzle (how do they walk in some of those ugly shoes?)

I regularly flip quickly through a couple of fashion-themed websites, not because I'm anything of a fashionista, far from it! It's the arty but graceful side of fashion that interests me, whenever it surfaces - it doesn't always. Sometimes high fashion is just plain silly.

Photographs of styles for Fall 2011 (more below) designed by two sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, whose fashion label is Rodarte, attracted my eye. The collection is said to evoke visions of The Great Plains of America, the prairies, the colours of nature. So romantic, so beautiful, so what I'd love to wear - in my dreams. I became curious to learn more about these young women.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy were born in Oakland, California, in 1979 and 1980. Later the family moved to Pasadena Ca.

"Both girls gravitated to Berkeley for college: “I knew I wanted to be a designer,” Kate says, “but at the same time, I was interested in literature, art, and so many other things.” She studied art history, Laura majored in English literature, and the closest they came to a fashion curriculum was a botched costume-design class in the theater department (which they promptly dropped when they were told to design a scullery maid’s outfit). "
(More here).

Their mother, an artist, encouraged their latent talent for sketching and taught them how to sew - and amazingly that is all the training they received for their chosen profession. The now very successful label Rodarte was named for their mother's maiden surname.

Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy came from Pasadena, California, to New York in the spring of 2005 with nothing more than a few dresses and coats stuffed in their suitcase. A week after arriving, they had shown their collection, tagged Rodarte after their mother's maiden name, to almost every major fashion editor and upscale retail buyer. What got them through the door? Tenacity and talent. The Mulleavys labor over every detail of their meticulous, romantic dresses. They pile on soft flutters of pinked chiffon and intricate hand-stitching as well as other old-world techniques that call to mind couture. Still a relatively new label, Rodarte has scored the Mulleavys the 2008 CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award, the 2008 Swiss Textiles Award (See here.)

I'm interested to see their natal charts. These are set for 12 noon as times of birth are unknown.

Kate Mulleavy (left in photograph above) born 11 February 1979, Oakland Ca.
Laura Mulleavy born 21 August 1980, Oakland Ca.

Hmmm. Not exactly what I'd have expected! Kate with an Aquarius stellium (cluster of planets close together) and Laura with a Virgo stellium. Aquarius and Virgo are not usually thought to be particularly compatible, Air and Earth seldom mix well and can cause a dust storm! My husband's two daughters, though older than the Mulleavys, had Virgo v. Aquarius dust-storm problems in their younger days, I understand. It appears, though, that the Mulleavy sisters work well together. Their natal Moons are not involved in the two stelliums - here's a clue to their ability to blend, perhaps.

Kate's natal Moon would be somewhere in Leo whatever her birth time. Laura's could be in either Taurus or, if born at or after 8 PM Moon would have been in Gemini. An Airy Gemini Moon would blend beautifully with Kate's Aquarius stellium. I wonder if this is the key to it all?

Kate's Venus in Capricorn is in harmonious trine to her sister's Virgo Sun/Mercury - that's another point of compatibility - a blend of practical common sense, and business sense (Capricorn) too.

Appropriately enough, the words "meticulous" (Virgo) and "avant garde" (Aquarius) are common in reports of their work. The mix of ideas (Aquarius) and attention to detail (Virgo) is an excellent combination for fashion designers - in theory - but in real life might pose challenges requiring mutual tolerance.

More from Rodarte for Fall 2011.


Gian Paul said...

Seing the lenght of those skirts - and if these gals manage to set a general trend - one can presume that the stock markets might next go south.

Cannot get hold of a statistic that quite accurately linked the lenght of women skirts to stock markets ups and downs. You have to believe me for now, if I find those data I will post them to Twilight.

dorchid said...

i love this collection by rodarte! i think they're now starting to live up to all the initial hype they got. it's refreshing to see these smart, talented, and rebellious women gain influence in the industry.

James Higham said...

Kate's natal Moon would be somewhere in Leo whatever her birth time. Laura's could be in either Taurus or, if born at or after 8 PM

Now I know the connection with Rossa. :)

Twilight said...

Gain Paul ~~ I believe, I believe....

But the designs of these gals are not the norm for Fall 2011. Most others I've seen have skirts on or just below the knee....a bit lower than of late, but nothing extreme.

Twilight said...

dorchid ~~ Yes, agreed.

This particular collection appeals to me, even though most of it would be highly impractical to wear in real life in 21st century.
The "prairie" look has great romantic vibes, echoes of the past .... Kate and Laura have caught them exactly.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~~ Sun Aquarius/Leo Moon - as in Rossa?

Hmmmm - Rossa's culinary work goes to the innards, Kate's to the outards.
Sort of.

anyjazz said...

Great stuff. Of course you KNOW I am a fashion expert.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ but of course! Speciality: hats.