News flash. The girls have grabbed the greasy brass ring. Bravo! Target has signed the award winning pair to design a line for the store. Supposedly it is the largest number of styles the store has done with any of it's previous designers to date: 55-60 styles. So the queens of the staples, wires and glue gun have cobbled their way to the big time. The first press pics of it's debut showed up today and they were mind blowing!!!!!
I don't use that description lightly....Mind blowing, trans formative, otherworldly, unrecognizable and totally disconnected to anything you've seen coming from them. Granted , I saw a handful of styles but they had absolutely NO CONNECTION with the aesthetic of anything they've done before. If it didn't say Rodarte, one would be hard pressed to know who designed it. A cute cocktail dress a la de la Renta, a Gap-ish jacket over a layered tulle dress with big, bad, butch boots and then an unappetizing little cocktail, cum slip dress that looked like Stella McCartney on a semi good day, which for me is a misnomer... I'm still waiting for Stella to have a good day.
One must applaud their savvy to hook their raft onto a steam ship while the tide is low. For my money I'd say theyhave run aground , but hey, get it while you can if it's there to get. God knows the food chain is pretty sparse .
My confusion is that the Mulleavy sisters have been so adamantly "Indie", with clothes that are unlike most in the marketplace, staying away from the fray in sunny California and then suddenly going super mainstream with clothes that appear to have little or no relationship to what they are known for. I won't presume that the larger United States are unaware of their presence in popular fashion, but let's face it...they are at best,very"Insidery" and an acquired taste. What is Target thinking to choose such specifically marginal designers. That is not a value judgement but a practical business question. Vera Wang is several steps out on the retail gang plank Kohl's. She's been reasonably successful, having maintained a semblance of her look, such as it is. This Rodarte for Target looks like an exercise in design schizophrenia. Why be such Purists and then turn around and pump derivative clothes? Clothes derived from other company's formulae with a label that barely resonates beyond the fashion centers of this country and those of a handful of others.This is not to say the clothes look bad, they don't. The quality looks good from where I'm sitting.
Nevertheless, I hope it brings them financial rewards and a larger , broader audience. They are hardworking talented designers. The customer at Target is a tough Mistress, even when the price is right. Will a move in this direction make them bigger fish in a smaller pond or will the water just become muddy and murkier for everyone involved?
On the Street…Spring Studios, New York
3 days ago