Rodarte is more a story of Dorothy and her hapless sister in L.A, a poor substitute for Oz. Sort of a sloppy slacker version of "Wicked". People lament their painfully unschooled early work; the hand-knitted sweaters riddled with dropped stitches, employed with bits of their lunch and a few shredded bits of ideas all wrapped up and styled as fashion.With the exception of a couple of things later on that hinted at a future, it all flew right past me. These ladies are indulged posers with the collective flatulence of the press carrying them further and further aloft. This season, like the past 3, only reinforces my feeling that this duo is adrift on a sea that has also lost interest. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Their mish mash of naughty Road House hussy and Main Street mom was confusing and ultimately devoid of a message. The dressy cocktails looked fussy and overwrought, like trying to appeal to a wealthy matron willing to wear an ersatz designer frock. Those pieces looked like the work of a hired hand with no relation to their biker babes of La Brea or their Ho's on the range. Asked to explain their motives both sisters were unable to articulate much, just like their collection. They spout non sequitors like..."it's the L.A. we love..." Low riders scraping concrete shooting sparks or cowgirls on the asphalt? Obsessive focus on a very personal time and place is fine when it is something that grows in meaning and develops visually, which is what fashion ultimately is; something to look at, consider and possibly even wear.
Cut-off, tush baring shorts, fringed holster skirts with poorly crafted bandeau/bustiers tucked under de rigeur flannel "boyfriend" shirts and "smokings" traipsing down a featureless runway strewn with Dan Flavin-esque flourescent light bulbs laying flat on the ground made me chuckle. It reminded me of a story my twin sister told me. She was a dance major at the Boston conservatory and overheard a classmate's phone call to he mother after an audition for an advanced dance class. Donna, who auditioned for the same class saw the girl's performance and winced at her lead-footed attempt to dazzle. "Mom, they were shocked and thrilled", she breathlessly relayed on the payphone outside the studio.
Do girls even want to wear "boyfriend" shirts, jackets, pants, underpants, whatever....? That title "Boyfriend" started way back when from the lips of Charlotte Neuville. Remember her? I figured then it was a clever term for a jacket that didn't fit but had that cool quotient as it was spawned by another press darling (and has been exhumed and resuscitated by Cathy Horyn of the New York Times)... Do girls want to dress this way? Not even Tavi, their once grey haired tween/teen blogger, goes in for the joke. She's a budding starlet who's traded preteen angst for full blown young adult brand building. A tatty dress with little allure is not going to move her ambitions closer to their target. Oh, and Target isn't particularly interested any more either. Same goes for many of the editors, though they'd be hard pressed to admit it.
So back to the folding table where they can distress, destroy and diddle their way back to another fashion week.
One can almost imagine them driving the getaway Prius for the Bling Ring, only they'd be stuck on the side of the freeway arguing over whether to drive with or against the traffic. But, hey...at least their carbon foot print isn't much bigger than a pair of spangled Uggs.