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the rodarte sisters dip into their dressing up box

A delicious mixture of mum's most glamorous dresses and kids' Star Wars costumes, Kate and Laura Mulleavy presented their autumn/winter 14 collection to a smiling audience.

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At first, the fluorescent light tubes on the catwalk seemed like a nod to artist Dan Flavin, but as the new Rodarte woman emerged, turns out she was a Star Wars fan, lightsabers and all. The film franchise, which started in 1977, cast a spell over the early childhoods of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and in a collection that spanned the 1970s, it had to have a place. The printed silk gowns featuring Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Yoda put a smile on everyone’s face, and would be a witty Oscars red carpet choice for Dakota Fanning, who was congratulating the sisters backstage afterwards (Happy Birthday! was sung to Kate too). The rest felt like clothes a child would have idolised on their glamorous 70s mum: easy glamour in dusky pinks and chiffon trousers, sparkles in glitter parkas and sequined berets and a bit of slender shoulder shown off in strapless dresses and long waistcoats. Laura and Kate dipped into the dressing up box of their imaginations for this show, and i-D asked them all about it.

This felt like a very 70s collection.
Laura:
Yes it was about our childhood, a nostalgic story. Kate was born in 1979 and I was born in 1980, so it’s that era, the leftover of the 70s. It was a very personal story because it’s all the stuff that we remember.

It was everything from easy glamour, almost to grunge.
Laura:
There were references to dressing that we understood from that era. The way we were back then, we had this endless imagination. You could be this person or that person. I was a tomboy.
Kate: I wouldn’t describe it as grunge.

I meant that dingey brown.
Kate:
We definitely use that brown colour that you associate with that time. And yeah, there’s something about combining the tomboy with the ephemeral or romantic. For me the important part of the smock dresses was this romantic, dreamy silhouette. Then playing with mis-match, glitter and hypercolour. There are all these switches happening.

It felt like a dressing-up box – a mixture of your mum’s most glamorous dresses and kids’ Star Wars costumes.
Laura:
Yeah, exactly. That’s what we were trying to do. That’s basically it.

I liked the cut-out shoulders on the coats…
Laura:
We were playing with that area of the body. We loved turtlenecks, so it’s a reference to that.

What are you doing to celebrate Kate’s birthday?
Laura:
We normally celebrate at home. [Whispers] I haven’t even got her a present yet. That’s bad!

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