Indeed, Pierre Cardin’s Satellite bubble cape, circa 1969, fuses ideas of Pop art and futurism into one jumbo slice of crimson vinyl. Or take Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Sex and Seditionaries T-shirts (1975–78). Emblazoned with images such as Union Jacks and upside-down crucifixes, or phrases like god save the queen and destroy, the layered muslin tops were made famous by the Sex Pistols. Such iconography, much of which was created around Westwood’s kitchen table with her artist friends, came to symbolize the anarchic ethos of the decade. “The pieces have a lot of soul. They’re so lived in, and there’s such depth,” remarks Haddawy. “That clothing is truly from the street.”
Growing up in San Francisco in the Seventies and Eighties, Rodriguez was obsessed with fashion. She plastered her walls with magazine pages and idolized her neighbor—a cool “female Mick Jagger” type who worked for Fiorucci—from afar. After studying fine art photography at San Francisco State University, she hightailed it to New York, where she briefly worked at a “s---ty clothing store” on the Upper West Side. She knew she was ready to do her own thing and invited Haddawy, her ex-boyfriend, to join her. “Vintage felt accessible. I wanted to do something fun and have cool clothes and didn’t want to have a boss,” recalls Rodriguez, who now designs her two-year-old ready-to-wear line in a studio upstairs from the Los Angeles outpost of Resurrection. (That store opened on Melrose Avenue in 2000, two years after the one on New York’s Mott Street. The pair closed the original East Village shop in 2001.)
For Haddawy, who then was dealing in pre-Columbian art in Berkeley, fashion wasn’t exactly on his radar, but he jumped at the chance for change. “We didn’t think that much about it; we were naive enough to do it, and being a little naive was better than not,” says Haddawy, who, in addition to running Resurrection, moonlights as an architectural consultant. “I obviously needed to learn about clothing from that moment forward.” Rodriguez schooled him by circling items in magazines and scribbling atop, “Buy stuff like this!” or “Don’t buy stuff like this!” Before he moved to New York, she mailed the inspirations to him in California. “Sometimes he would send me back photos of stuff he was buying. I can still see those pictures now: hideous, matronly Fifties party dresses,” Rodriguez recalls with a laugh. “But he learned very, very quickly.”
Case in point: Haddawy soon found himself bidding on Pierre Cardin’s nickel-plate cuff necklace (1969) against none other than the designer himself, who wanted it back for his archives. Haddawy won the piece, albeit at a hefty $8,000 price. “That was a lot of money for us, but it was incredible. There are probably two of them in the world,” he says of the bauble, which hangs from neck to abdomen, with large clear bulbs at each end.