Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Envy - Rodarte

Rodarte is the first fashion book from the fashion house of the same name. Kate and Laura Mulleavy are the sister design team behind Rodarte. Burning, sanding, dyeing, knitting, twisting, staining and weaving are some of the many complex techniques that have entered into the Rodarte textural vocabulary.

Rodarte a mere 6 years old, is in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Rodarte also exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum at FIT and were the first fashion designers in 20 years to be reviewed in Artforum.

What makes the book something really fabulous is that Rodarte has engaged highly acclaimed not of the fashion world artists Catherine Opie and Alec Soth to both document their conceptual creative inspirations and portrait their work.

Catherine Opie, Laura & Kate Mulleavy, Alec Soth photo:LA Times 

Last month I had the opportunity to attend a conversation at the Hammer museum amongst Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Catherine Opie and Alex Soth. 

It was fascinating to watch Alec Soth's journey from being very clear to not being of the fashion world to being very curious about fashion. Catherine Opie said that she would like to do more fashion. Opie famous for her queer and community portraiture brought her own slant to the fasion portraiture, utilizing some of her frequently featured friends like model and actress Jenny Shimizu and her son, Oliver. 

Soth was given a list of items things and places by the Mulleavy sisters to photograph. He set out on a road trip through northern California to capture some of the Mulleavy sisters most beloved and inspiring images of childhood. 

When it came to the Q & A my favorite question was saved for last,asked by a lithe young wild haired woman who had waited the entire discussion to ask her question. "Since all of you as artists create your own world in your work, what artists world would you chose to live in?" Brilliant question.

Kate stated that she was conflicted, in that of artists that came to mind, she did not think she could live in their worlds.

Opie offered up Gloria Steinem to applause.

Laura after some consideration said that she would consider Michael Angelo, but after some more thought decided perhaps not considering dealing with the pope and endless hours on your back in the Sistine chapel.

Soth perhaps had the most surprising answer. He stated that he had really developed an interest in fashion out of this project and discussion. He would elect "to become the third Mulleavy sister", to which Catherine conceded, "then I would have to be the brother."

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