Rodarte’s Black Swan Exhibit at MOCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, (MOCA) presents the first west coast solo Exhibition of Celebrated young American fashion and costume designers Kate and and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte. Started on March 4th until June 5th, the Pacific Design Center is showcasing more than 20 pieces from Rodarte’s Spring 2010, Fall 2010 and Fall 2008 runway collections are on display along with original ballet costumes worn by Natalie Portman for the critically acclaimed movie Black Swan. “We worked and are friends with Natalie; she has worn a couple of our dresses,” said Rodarte designer Laura Mulleavy. “When a friend of ours told us there was a hush-hush script floating through Hollywood about two warring ballerinas, it was suggested by her that we would be perfect to do the costumes.”

“By removing the garments from the figure and creating an installation around them, the focus will be entirely on the dresses and tutus as singular sculptural objects rather than pieces that are reliant on their relationship to the human form,” said Associate Curator Rebecca Morse. “Their inherent narrative qualities will be revealed.”

Renowned for its expressive use of textiles, Rodarte creates unusual works through a highly elaborate and intensive processing and reconstruction of materials. Fabrics are often subjected to unusual, sometimes alchemical methods of alteration— dyed, stretched, stained, burned, or otherwise manipulated—before being reassembled as sculptural ready-to-wear. Materials are woven, knitted, or layered together as assemblages of plaid scraps, vinyl, cheesecloth, wool, cobweb, Swarovski crystals, macrame?, leather, and more. Rodarte’s designs are inspired by sources uncommonly approached in fashion design—its Spring 2010 collection was based, in part, on the California condor. Other idiosyncratic influences include local landscapes, Japanese horror films, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and the work of Gordon Matta Clark.

Photography by Autumn de Wilde.


MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90069

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