I love the way Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy have been turning towards pure American tradition in the last few seasons (particularly in their A/W 2011 collection). Their inspiration nowadays seems to come from abstract concepts intrinsecally present in American culture, and as a result Rodarte's style is truly unique. Sure, there are other brands that have played the "100% American elegance" card (Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger...), but it was always done in an Ivy League- Hamptons- Park Avenue sort of way as opposed to the Mulleavy's, who create their particular and somewhat bizarre sense of chic. What I love about Rodarte (apart from the to-die-for trousers and Nicholas Kirkwood shoes) is the emotion their clothes radiate; it's not about technically pretty outfits but about feeling and reminiscence. I think looking at a Rodarte piece is a bit like reading the great American novel: with a coarse sense of poetry - expressed in novels with words; in Rodarte's clothes with a great work and research on textures - they both tell stories about pioneering, survival, taming wild nature and working a land in perpetual change. Their winter collection brings to my mind some of the best American stories.
"Some day this country's gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bodies in the ground before that time can come."
"I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build."
"There ain't nobody gonna push me out of my land! That's what we make it our'n, bein' born on it... and workin' on it... and dyin' on it!"