Profiles on Kate and Laura Mulleavy from Rodarte are always fawning (and with good reason). But rarely do writers try to figure out just what makes the ladies so unique. In the latest New Yorker, they still come off as the ingenious duo we’ve grown to love, but writer Amanda Fortini delves deeper into the peculiar quirks of the sisters than others have gone before. “I’ve never had a best friend that’s two people before this,” says pal and photog Autumn de Wilde. “Kate has many times told me a story, and Laura will say, ‘Kate, you weren’t there, I was,’ and will continue the story.” Spooky.
The piece also touches upon the “naiveté” of the pair, watching them as they burn materials in their small Los Angeles design loft, and noting that they still have only a self-taught grasp of construction, get depressed when they make something “pretty,” and still rock “goober”-style black sweaters instead of anything hip. Said Kate when asked if she would wear the six-inch heels used for their fall ‘09 show, “Are you kidding?” This was only shortly after Laura apologized to a model for making such an uncomfortable dress (aww!). But between all the horror movies and searches for the perfect “condor red” color, it’s Chicago master retailer Ikram Goldman who nails down the appeal of Rodarte’s ripped and torn gowns among a fan base that numbers many, many times the 1,000 dresses or so the designers sell every year. “They don’t like it, they love it, and they’re paying money to have that hole. You’ll never have the same placement twice. That’s what makes those pieces special — distressing them, giving them life, giving them history.”