Rodarte, Pale Pink and Bright Pink Georgette and Silk Chiffon Pleated and Draped Gown with hand-beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Pale Pink and Bright Pink Georgette and Silk Chiffon Pleated and Draped Gown with hand-beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte Spring Summer Collection Included in LACMA Holdings

Rodarte, Lime Silk Georgette and Crinkle Silk Chiffon Pleated Gown with hand-molded Easter Lilies, Feathers, and Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Lime Silk Georgette and Crinkle Silk Chiffon Pleated Gown with hand-molded Easter Lilies, Feathers, and Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Aqua Silk Georgette and Sequin Release Pleat Ocean Gown, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Lime Silk Georgette and Crinkle Silk Chiffon Pleated Gown with hand-molded Easter Lilies, Feathers, and Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Cantaloupe Pleated Silk,Draped Silk Georgette, and Taffeta Gown with Gold Ray Belt, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Gold Lamé, Silk, and Hammered Sequin Gown with Gold Hand-Painted Feathers, and Hand-Beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels with Gold Ray Head Piece, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Gold Lamé, Silk, and Hammered Sequin Gown with Gold Hand-Painted Feathers, and Hand-Beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels with Gold Ray Head Piece, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Gold Lamé, Silk, and Hammered Sequin Gown with Gold Hand-Painted Feathers, and Hand-Beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels with Gold Ray Head Piece, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

 

LACMA
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
323 857-6000
Los Angeles
Ahmanson Building, 3rd Floor
RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection
December 17, 2011-February 5, 2012

The North American debut of RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection, a promised gift to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's (LACMA) Costume and Textiles Department. The Spring|Summer 2012 couture collection features a group of extraordinary gowns by acclaimed American designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, inspired by frescoes painted by the early Italian Renaissance artist, Fra Angelico (c. 1350-1455). The Fra Angelico Collection, a Spring|Summer 2012 couture collection, was unveiled as a site-specific installation at Pitti Imagine in Florence, Italy in June 2011. At LACMA, the Rodarte gowns are on view in the museum’s Italian Renaissance gallery, surrounded by classic Renaissance artworks.

”These gowns are the first works by Rodarte to enter the museum’s permanent holdings, and we are pleased to present this outstanding collection,” said Sharon S. Takeda, Senior Curator and Head of the Costume and Textiles Department.

"We are so honored that our •Fra Angelico Collection• from Pitti Immagine in Florence has come to LACMA, and to see it installed amongst the museum's masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance is an incomparable experience for us,” said Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte.

Fra Angelico Collection at LACMA The collection is inspired by Italian art, specifically the Renaissance frescoes in the monastery of San Marco by Fra Angelico in Florence, Italy, as well as the Baroque sculpture, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) in Rome. At LACMA, Rodarte’s Fra Angelico Collection installation will create a unique and complementary relationship with the Florentine art in LACMA’s collection. Silk fabrics are draped and pleated to define form and texture to the •Fra Angelico Collection• gowns in colors that can be seen in the surrounding artworks on display in the museum’s Italian Renaissance gallery. One large painting, Christ on the Cross with Saints Vincent Ferrer, John the Baptist, Mark, and Antoninus (c. 1491-95), by the Master of the Fiesole Epiphany (active c. 1480-1500), serves as an exquisite reference for the installation of the gowns. Appropriately enough, the painting, a gift of the Ahmanson Foundation, was commissioned by the silk weavers’ guild of Florence for their altar in San Marco.

Rodarte’s signature dressmaking techniques and sculptural details can be seen in each gown in the Fra Angelico Collection. Silk fabrics (including chiffon, crepe, gauze, lamé, organza, satin, and taffeta) are draped and manipulated to give form, texture, and tonal variety to the color palette influenced by Fra Angelico’s frescoes. The gowns are customized utilizing a variety of materials such as feathers, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, sequins, and hand-molded Easter lilies. Hand-forged gold metallic accessories, such as a headpiece, breastplate, and belts informed by elements in Bernini’s sculptures, dramatically complete the look of several gowns.

LACMA Costume and Textiles Collection The Fra Angelico Collection enters LACMA’s Costume and Textiles Department, which houses over 25,000 objects, representing more than 100 cultures and 2000 years of human creativity in the textile arts. Particularly well-represented are European textiles, fashionable dress, and accessories including the museum’s groundbreaking acquisition of more than 1,000 works that was highlighted in the recent exhibition Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700i1915, which is travelling to Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin and the Musée de la Mode et du Textile/Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

About Rodarte Kate and Laura Mulleavy received their bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts from UC Berkeley in 2001. Following their graduations, they returned to Los Angeles and launched Rodarte in 2005. In November 2008, Rodarte received the Swiss Textiles Award, becoming the first American designers and the first women to receive the award. Since then, Kate and Laura have won numerous awards and accolades, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion, and the 2010 National Arts Award from Americans for the Arts, becoming the first fashion designers to receive the honor. In 2011, they were nominated for best costume design at the 16th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards for their work in Black Swan. Earlier this year, Rodarte’s first west coast exhibition, Rodarte: States of Matter, was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Rodarte’s works are featured in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum at FIT in New York City.

Publication-Rodarte, Catherine Opie, Alec Soth Kate and Laura Mulleavy collaborated with two of the art world’s most highly acclaimed photographers, Catherine Opie and Alec Soth to create the first publication to examine the world of Rodarte, titled Rodarte, Catherine Opie, Alec Soth. For the occasion, each photographer has developed an entirely new body of work in collaboration with the designers, examining the many facets of Rodarte’s creative spectrum. Published by JRP/Ringier with a text by John Kelsey, Rodarte’s first monograph is available for purchase at Art Catalogues at LACMA for $80.

Rodarte, Cantaloupe Pleated Silk,Draped Silk Georgette, and Taffeta Gown with Gold Ray Belt, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Gold Lamé, Silk, and Hammered Sequin Gown with Gold Hand-Painted Feathers, and Hand-Beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels with Gold Ray Head Piece, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Gold Lamé, Silk, and Hammered Sequin Gown with Gold Hand-Painted Feathers, and Hand-Beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels with Gold Ray Head Piece, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Lime Silk Georgette and Crinkle Silk Chiffon Pleated Gown with hand-molded Easter Lilies, Feathers, and Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Aqua Silk Georgette and Sequin Release Pleat Ocean Gown, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Pale Pink and Bright Pink Georgette and Silk Chiffon Pleated and Draped Gown with hand-beaded Swarovski Elements Tassels and Gold Pleated Metal and Ray Breast Plate, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Cantaloupe Pleated Silk,Draped Silk Georgette, and Taffeta Gown with Gold Ray Belt, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Rodarte, Aqua Silk Georgette and Sequin Release Pleat Ocean Gown, Promised Gift of Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy), Maria Arena Bell, Susan Casden, Eva Chow, DNA Boutique, Allison Serofim, Karyn Silver, Christine Suppes, Lizzie Tisch, Dasha Zhukova, and an Anonymous Donor, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.

 

Rodarte, Dorothy Parker interpretations in fashion and textile.

Rodarte, Dorothy Parker interpretations in fashion and textile.

The Mulleavys of Rodarte and their Love Affair with Textiles and Fashion

Rodarte, a reworking of LACMA's Mexican, Mixteca-Puebla Style Mosaic Skull (1400-1521) made from a human skull and covered with turquoise, Jadeite, and shell and envisions it anew. The skull is on view in the Art of the Ancient Americas galleries.

Kate Mulleavy, sketch for Black Swan costume.

Laura Mulleavy with Natalie Portman in Black Swan Costume.

Kate Mulleavy, sketch for Black Swan costume.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue
310-289-5223
Los Angeles
Rodarte: States of Matter
March 4-June 5, 2011

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) presents Rodarte: States of Matter, the first West Coast solo exhibition of the work of fashion and costume designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. Renowned for its expressive use of textiles, Rodarte creates unusual works through a highly elaborate and intensive processing and reconstruction of materials. Fabrics are often subjected to unusual, sometimes alchemical methods of alteration — dyed, stretched, stained, burned, or otherwise manipulated — before being reassembled as sculptural ready-to-wear.

Materials are woven, knitted, or layered together as assemblages of plaid scraps, vinyl, cheesecloth, wool, cobweb, Swarovski crystals, macramé, leather, and more. Rodarte’s designs are inspired by sources uncommonly approached in fashion design—its Spring 2010 collection was based, in part, on the California condor. Other idiosyncratic influences include local landscapes, Japanese horror films, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and the work of Gordon Matta Clark.

“We are very excited that MOCA will present the first museum exhibition of our work in Los Angeles,” said Kate Mulleavy. “The exhibition will explore the transitional states of garments and examine them as vessels without bodies,” said Laura Mulleavy.

“By removing the garments from the figure and creating an installation around them, the focus will be entirely on the dresses and tutus as singular sculptural objects rather than pieces that are reliant on their relationship to the human form,” said Associate Curator Rebecca Morse. “Their inherent narrative qualities will be revealed.”

The exhibition features more than 20 pieces from Rodarte’s Spring 2010, Fall 2010, and Fall 2008 runway collections, and original ballet costumes designed by Rodarte for the feature film Black Swan. The selected works are largely achromatic, dominated by black-and-white motifs with occasional red accents, and will be installed in a series of interrelated vignettes, both static and in motion, displayed off-figure and portrayed as charged sculptural objects. The installation presents inanimate objects in a state of flux, or animation, signifying the temporary states that material can assume. Acclaimed environmental fashion designer and runway producer Alexandre de Betak, founder of Bureau Betak and a longtime collaborator of the Mulleavys, will contribute a dynamic exhibition design, including kinetic displays, dramatic lighting, and other theatrical elements.

“Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s work transcends traditional fashion concepts and redefines the purpose of garment design,” said MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch. “MOCA is pleased to present Rodarte’s work in an artistic context as we continue our commitment to sharing the talents of emerging artists for whom Los Angeles is a vital muse.” The exhibition is organized by MOCA Associate Curator Rebecca Morse.

Rodarte Kate and Laura Mulleavy received their bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts from UC Berkeley in 2001. Following their graduations, they returned to their home in Pasadena and launched Rodarte in 2005. Since then, Kate and Laura have won numerous awards and accolades, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009 and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion. Rodarte is the first fashion house to be awarded a United States Artists grant (2009) and the National Arts Awards’ Bill and Maria Bell Young Artist Award (2010). Last year, Kate and Laura had their first solo museum exhibition, Quicktake: Rodarte, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Kate and Laura were nominated for best costume design at the 16th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards for their work in •Black Swan•. In 2011, their first monograph, Rodarte, Catherine Opie, Alec Soth will be published by JRP/Ringier. Rodarte’s works are featured in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Alexandre de Betak In the early 1990s, Alexandre de Betak founded Bureau Betak, a special events and fashion-show design and production company that operates worldwide from New York, Paris, and Shanghai. The Bureau has created shows and events for several clients including Christian Dior, John Galliano, Viktor & Rolf, Hussein Chalayan, Moncler with Giambattista Valli, Jason Wu, Lacoste, Rodarte, Jill Sander, Diane Von Furstenberg, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Uniqlo, and others.

Alexandre de Betak also designs exhibitions and limited edition furniture and objects for the likes of Artcurial, Domeau Pérès, Swarovski, and more.

Rodarte Spring 2010 fashion show (Photo by Rob Loud / Getty Images).

Model for the Black Swan Costumes.

Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte with practice tutus.

Rodarte, Fashion and textile interpretations of poet W.H. Auden.