MRNY – We’re not in Kansas anymore, but Rodarte is

I guess everyone is probably expecting me to write something about the hurricane sitch here in New York, so I’ll try to deliver. I hate to disappoint but it’s 9 am and all is calm, no sign of those 60-75 mph winds that those weather folks predicted for today (but perhaps I spoke too soon – here comes the rain again, and the wind chimes are a-chimin’). It seems the worst was last night, and from my window the only evidence is bunches of leaves on the ground.
Seeing as all’s well here and I’ve no disaster tales to tell, you’ll have to make do with do with something that I recollected in the face of the impending storm – Rodarte’s A/W 2011 RTW collection. Inspired by the Terrence Malick 1978 film Days of Heaven, set in the American southwest farmlands in 1916, the designers behind the collection also gave a nod to The Wizard of Oz. I was reminded of the collection, which I first admired back in February when it was on the runway, because of The Wizard of Oz reference, the whirlwind hurricane bearing down on NYC just as the tornado was bearing down on Dorothy in Kansas. Would the winds lift me and take me to Oz? Turns out the answer is a resounding no, but they did take my mind to this lovely Rodartian place.
These ain’t your mama’s prairie dresses, oh no. These are elegant, flowy, silk gowns mixed with dresses, pants, coats and jackets with clean lines, and the occasional simple, southwestern Native American pattern thrown in. I’m easily bored by brown, but the farm-field inspired colors of the silk dresses seem to almost glow, as if looking at the field itself under a blazing sun and blue sky: golden browns and cornsilk creams, stormy gray and soft blue.
I find the gowns a bit intimidatingly beautiful, but the knee length, full skirt dresses are playful even in their elegance.
I think it’s interesting (delightfully so) that an A/W collection is so springy/summery – the light colors, the light fabrics, the sleevelessness. As much as I love the heavy sweaters and the wool tights and the long sleeved, heavy dresses that the New York winter requires, I love that the feeling of the warmer days is preserved (and lifted to high art, no less) in this collection.
Photos via
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