I’ve had Rodarte on my watch list for about 4 years as they have transformed from some punk-met-outer-space style, and they have gradually made the switch to pretty and finished and fitted – entirely away from the style of the last 30 years. From this punk in-your-face look:
To this refined, pretty finished look:
And although these may look over-exaggerated and as in-your-face as their former punk look, they really aren’t. There’s a lot of detail in these.
The first look for the show makes a statement about their F/W show for 2020. The sleeves are fuller, shoulders are puffed, and the belt is on the waistline, and if you look closely, you can see the tell-tale sign of that with a small muffin-top just below the waist. These gals are rail thin, so you know that there’s no real muffin-top, but this is the fullness of the fabric showing through. Knee-length hem and gloves no less!
This look is so flattering and actually wearable for so many figure types – yes, even for the Apples and Rectangles, that it’s a joy to wear and for me a pleasure to see on the runway!
It’s hard to see here, but this is the variation for those Apples and Rectangles who so desperately want a waist and yet nothing seems to work.
I lightened this up a lot, and you can see that 1.) there’s actually a bow, and 2.) there are darts above and below the waistline. These are really hard to see in this print – even lightened up; however, they are there, and this is how you Rectangles and Apples can wear a lot of your dresses. Keep your waist a little higher (even if the style shows right on the waist) and don’t dart to fit around your waist. Dart to accent the underbust curve slightly, and that’s it.
Here’s another example:
I’m totally bowled over by this dress. At first glance on the left, it looks like a bunch of folderal on top of a print, but when you do the close up (click the link above cause it’s worth it). Here’s the thing that really popped out at me: where are the raw edges?…where’s the unfinished look? It’s not there. Every one of those edges is purposely exposed and yet they are finished with satin stitching or in a seam or pipped, but they are all finished. This is so radical in a very subtle way.
As if that weren’t enough, the beautiful detail in the workmanship always impresses me. Now, you and I aren’t going to wear this sort of thing to the grocery store or to work or to run errands, so how do we make this look practical.
Here’s how. The first message in this dress is that this is dress up even if it’s just a little at first. You know that favorite knit top you have that you like to make over and over? Well, get something a little different in the fabric like say…..
Yes, I know the one on the left is a little much, but it’s fun, so if you’re not quite there, use the one on the right. And yes, the fabrics are sheer, and yes, you do want to use a light-weight lining under that, even if it’s just a camisole or tank-type top in a light-weight knit that’s enough. Using these as a top with either a pair of ponte pants or leggings (if you feel comfy doing that) can make a fashion-forward statement without being a fashion victim. If you really want to make a statement, that one on the right in a hoodie pattern would be a killer (then do a friendly black light-weight knit under it for a low TMI factor!
Here’s a total outfit – the sparkly sheer mesh on top with that great pongee stretch lining (if you want simply line the back and front and leave the sleeves unlined. Use Jalie 3245 [don’t look at the picture on the pattern envelope – it’s awful] and make the bodice front and back lined and make it a little longer – the pattern has helpful guides for that) and make a pair of leggings out of that velvet velour (right above). I know you may think that velvet is winter only, but for a summer evening, this nice light-weight stretch velvet is perfect and really gorgeous and a wow look.
This is a great stretch brocade from Emma One Sock and if you want to do something really spectacular, do a waterfall top with the lacey piece from Marcy Tilton (above) and a shell with this under. Both are stretch and very comfy!
This is the kind of dress-up look that is showing up on the runway. You may not be into this yet, and all you may want to do this summer is get a beautiful floral and do a dress.
The upper left, upper right, lower left are all the most delicious rayon that make perfect dresses. The lower-middle and lower right are equally delicious voiles, and use a rayon or Bemberg type lining or make a camisole or half slip out of the lining. The upper middle is a cotton woven which would make a more tailored dress (like you Rectangles or Apples). This would be a great summer alternative.
The message from Rodarte for Fall/Winter 2020 is dress up and don’t be afraid to. Yes, it’s different and above all it’s new. But we’ve been here before and the age of going out the door with “bed-head hair” and scruffy looks and the unkempt look is over. Thank heavens we get to dress up again and we get to see actually beautiful clothes on the runway and clothes that will flatter.
One of my biggest disappointments of the 2000s and 2010s is that there was a generation out there who never got to see beautiful clothing. Clothing that not only flatters but elevates the person who wears it.
These were typical during the 1980s and although it may seem really exaggerated, it was, but the workmanship was elegantly refined, the fabrics and components were of the best quality. The upper left design by Christian LaCroix is typical with iridescent silk (probably pink weft and orange warp weaves) but constructed in such a way that the garment is easy to move in and yet flattering and a lot of fun to wear. I know, I made garments like this for my customers in the 80s and they had to be comfortable and they had to be able to move in them – like get in and out of a car, hug friends, etc. The top three designs are LaCroix, the bottom left and right are Yves St. Laurent and the middle bottom is John Louis Scherrer. All these garments were decadently beautiful. It was a treat to wear them and a pleasure to make them.
But no worries – we’re not headed back to those huge shoulder pads or those outlandish collars – even if they show them on the runway. But we are headed back to beauty and pretty!
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