Rodarte's Haute Couture Project

A homage to Renaissance art and to Italian fashion tradition filtered through the lenses of a contemporary aesthetics.

A mix of contrasting elements has been “artfully” distilled for the site-specific project designed by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, special guests at Pitti W 8.

A much-awaited event considering the success of Rodarte on New York’s catwalks and red carpets, also thanks to the recent much-acclaimed film “Black Swan” for which the two sisters have created the costumes.

A suspended atmosphere between the sacred and the futuristic for the installation which includes 10 haute couture garments dangling in space and framed by neon lights within the narrow yet inspiring spaces of Bartolini, the former household goods store in the heart of Florence, right behind the Duomo.

A collection inspired by the paintings of Beato Angelico in the San Marco cells in Florence and by the ecstasy of Saint Therese by Bernini.

Color and the light, not by accident, are a strong feature of the collection, that features gold yellow and white, from pistachio green nuances to lapis lazuli blue. All features that the Mulleavy sisters are able to express in a new aesthetic dimension which provides a strong theatrical and emotional impact with the support of Alexandre de Betak and Bureau Betak.

A series of neon lights act like halos and celestial rays, creating settings full of mystery, in a kind of suspension, a direct and unexpected connection of past and present art, from, Fontana to Flavin, to fashion that become a true art installation.

Dresses embellished with feathers, chiffon, Swarovsky crystals appliquĂ© and handmade gold trimmings. For their site-installation nature, we cannot just consider such creations as “outfits”, but must be seen as pure experimentation.

A crossover of art, fashion and cinematic suggestions that has stretched a bridge connecting diverse artistic expressions, showing an unusual and surprising imaginative ability. So surprising that someone has described as too perfect and flawless for their sense of shape.

It doesn’t surprise, though, yet it is rather gratifying to think that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has decided to add such line to its collections.

The Rodarte sisters have been for some time much-coveted not only by celebrities for their red carpets, but also by museums; now they are also featured in the monograph “Rodarte: Photographs by Catherine Opie and Alec Soth” published by JRP/Ringier, and exclusively presented at Pitti W. A book that centers around their world through the shots realized by Catherine Opie and Alec Soth.

We have met the Rodarte sisters to ask them about the project specially made for Pitti Immagine, but also about their working methods, their passion for art and cinema. To find out more about their Italian debut and their outlook on fashion.