Friday, April 3, 2009

A Specific Voice

Gravure Magazine has a really good interview up right now with Kate Mulleavy, the designer behind Rodarte, along with her sister Laura. There are few designers, fashion or otherwise, with as many varied sources of inspiration – and even fewer who can continuously translate their inspiration into consistently beautiful work.

Here's an excerpt:
Rachel K. Ward: In another interview you mentioned that one of my favorite films Metropolitan (1990) was an inspiration for you. What about that film, or other things, inspire you?

Kate Mulleavy:
This last collection was inspired by the idea of site specific and earth art, someone like Robert Smithson. Laura and I really thought of the aerial view looking at the Spiral Jetty (1970); it looks like a fossil. This is the idea of ruins, a futurism that instead of it being about a robot, is the future where what is left are these kind of fossils or skeletal forms. We explored a lot of science fiction like The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) or even something like Donnie Darko (2001), which was a huge inspiration on the collection, so there were varied films that came into play in relationship to this idea of earth art. In my mind the connection was this incredible movement with earth artists not that long after the first Apollo missions, which was the first moment that anyone saw the earth outside of itself, which was a huge intellectual shift for an entire world. There was an immediate link in my mind about space travel...we tied in films like THX 1138 (1971), and different science fiction films that were interesting to us....

In terms of the film Metropolitan, that is a good example of trying to create your own world. I like the kind of claustrophobia of it and the interior world, that is what is interesting with it. I guess a film like that has a lot of influence for us for the fact we really love it so we will probably do a collection that has really big poofy '80s dresses and striped teddy bears.

Read the rest of the interview at

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