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At Rodarte, Miss Havisham Meets Basic Instinct

As so many brands struggle to keep up with the latest trends, its the designers that stay true to their ethos who really come out on top, something that Rodarte has managed to do season after season. Celebrating the label’s tenth anniversary, designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy showed one of their most personal collections to date, inspired by San Francisco and Berkeley, the cities they grew up in. One location in particular, Caffé Trieste, led to another point of inspiration: Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. He is said to have written much of the screenplay while sipping coffee in the café.

Their Fall/Winter ’16 collection, much like the iconic film, wove together grand themes of life, death, and love. Because what is life, without love? And inevitably death. Romantic lace dresses, pants, and tops were shown with ruched and ruffled leather—Miss Havisham meets Basic Instinct, the ultimate femme fatale. Two looks were shown with veils, one in the traditional white, and another all in black, like a young bride in mourning, a nod to one of the film’s most iconic scene. Models wore orchids in their hair and dangling from their ears, some fresh and others cast in metal with gem-stone centers, but don’t confuse these with flower crowns. They’re more like a manifestation of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for your hair—gorgeous, but slightly sinister. The designers also referenced Art Nouveau, most notably on a dress covered in sparkling silver squiggles that was a standout of the collection.

The Mulleavy sisters ability to create a fantasy through clothing is their greatest skill. At a Rodarte show, you’re not simply viewing the new collection, you’re being invited into their world. And though this season’s fantasyland had some dark undertones, the models didn’t let it get them down. Who ever said fashion week was all work and no play?

See more of Sonny Vandevelde’s backstage photos here

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