Whether it's your first take, a double take, or tenth takeat the fashion genius that is Rodarte, be sure to check out the upcominginstallation "Quicktake: Rodarte" at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt NationalDesign Museum, beginning February 11 and running through March 14. For some, itwill be a crash introduction to the unique creations that seem to spill out ininspired bursts from this young and much-heralded house, helmed by sisters Kateand Laura Mulleavy. For others, short of pulling a Tavi and endearing oneselfto the sisters via a precocious sensibility and wacky blogging style, it willbe a rare opportunity to ogle some truly amazing pieces that were previouslyelusive for issues of proximity and, sadly, budget.
Thanks to the museum, a $15 general admission ticket willgrant visitors a true feast for the eyes. The exhibition features a selectionof pieces from the Rodarte collections that embody the eclectic sources ofinspiration that inform the Mulleavy's work, from the assembly and disassemblyof homes, California Condors, and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, to land artand Japanese horror films. On ready display will be the ingenious craftsmanshipand that has become synonymous with the Rodarte vision, the improbablematerials, by turns whisper-light and industrially heavy within the samegarment.
Sure, you won't be able to walk out wearing any signaturedresses, but you can certainly hold onto your mind-sketches and make do drapingyour store-bought chiffon to your heart's content. Kind of like spendinghours in the gem room of the Natural History Museum, admiring nature's millionsof years' worth of work, and walking out of the gift shop with a crystal-makingkit of sugar and food coloring. But we'll take what we can get.
Rodarte is the second subject of a series of"Quicktake" installations "aimed at showing the public vital up-and-comingdesign from around the world." For more opportunities to see Rodarte in person,the line is part of the permanent collections of both the Costume Institute ofthe Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology Museumin New York.2 E. 91st St. at Fith Ave. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.;Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 12- 6 p.m. Feb. 11-Mar. 14.