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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Objets Rodarte

Lee Carter reports...

A wet thing happened on the way to Rodarte yesterday. On a busy W. 22nd street, Y-3, showing after Rodarte, was getting an early start with a little water play—one of the themes of its spring collection (Marco! Yohji!)—and connected its runway and backstage, on opposite sides of the street, with a wall of water cascading from the rusty old Highline above. And not in a soothing face-spritz way, but in a gushing sky-opens-up way. And of course, to reach Rodarte, one had to cross it, which is exactly what Cathy Horyn, Julie Gilhart and I did, huddled under a single dinky umbrella thriftily provided by Y-3 staff. Yet apparently only my left elbow was covered because I emerged on the other side utterly drenched, as if I had gone through an automatic car wash, but without the car. This, after I narrowly escaped a water balloon hurled at me just minutes before, presumably a random act of rascality—unless there's more to Y-3's water play than meets the eye.

The unexpected shower came in handy when I finally arrived at Rodarte, a sauna so sweltering that people were splashing their faces with bottled water. And, oddly enough, water was again one of the themes for the Mulleavy sisters, at least judging from any of the flowy, wavy-cut chiffon/organza/tulle dresses, some with trains, as well as blue ombré jackets and skirts. (I was reminded how, in a Hint interview I did with Kate and Laura not long ago, they said they wanted to be beach bums when they were young.) Once again, the stunning collection was taken to dreamy, intricate extremes, with jolts of pink hair and studded punk heels (Rodarte for Christian Louboutin). Although this time, Laura told me backstage, they were inspired by a recent trip to Japan, as well as Spirited Away, the Oscar-winning anime film about a girl who gets lost in a fantasy world—very magical, very Alice in Wonderland, very Rodarte.

A minute's look at the sights and sounds...