“It reminded me of the old film noir movies I love,” says Laura Mulleavy of her first visit to Miami, for this shoot. “The whole feeling is surreal, and we thought it would be great to see everyone in khaki shorts and pressed white shirts, like Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo.” Heretofore known as the doe-eyed, Berkeley-educated sisters who have a knack for whipping up couture-esque dresses with pinked edges and layer upon layer of tulle, Kate and Laura Mulleavy have seen Rodarte, their nearly four-year-old line, get snapped up by more than 30 stores worldwide—and become one of New York Fashion Week’s top billings along the way. The soft-spoken twosome hit their stride with a fall 2008 collection of slashed knits and ballerina dresses in bloodred and pale blue, its witchy tones a continuation of their Japanese anime–inspired spring lineup. In fact, these are themes they’re not quite ready to let go. As for next season, says Laura, “Maybe it will be a trilogy. We don’t quite know yet, but all we need is one idea, and it will take over our lives.”
[Left] Erdem’s white silk tulle and lace dress, at Barneys New York; Ikram, Chicago.
[Right] Rodarte’s silk tulle dress, at Capitol, Charlotte, North Carolina; Nordstrom, Seattle.