Rodarte A/W 2020 New York Fashion Week Women’s

Rodarte A/W 2020 New York Fashion Week Women’s

Scene setting: The Byzantine Revival interior of St. Bartholomew’s church on Park Avenue proved to be the perfect foil for Rodarte’s brand of dark romance. Built in 1916 and designed by Bertram Goodhue, the Episcopal Church was designated as a national historical landmark in 2016 and considered an important example of ecclesiastical architecture. Decked out in an array of foiliage running down the nave, mixed with fluorescent tubes and an abundance of pillar candles, the moody, yet reverential setting had a spellbinding effect.

Mood board: Against such a backdrop, Kate and Laura Mulleavy presented a collection steeped in nostalgic references. Inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the sensual collection also conjured up visions of other aspects of the gothic tradition in its Southern Belle silhouettes and prom dress-style finishes. From elegantly tailored 40s style dresses, belted at the waist, to diaphonous gowns constructed from wafts of tulle, embellished with crystals, beads, sequins and applique, this fantasist’s spin on feminine dressing did not disappoint.

Best in show: Not ones to shy away from making a statement, Rodarte’s array of evening gowns easily stole the show. Playing with various levels of opacity and embracing an impressive level of detail ranging from hand done beadwork, embroidery, ruching and ruffles, the Mulleavy sisters’ fantasy-like, more is more approach tugged at the heartstrings of romantics and fashion lovers alike. §

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