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The two Mulleavy sisters, born in 1979 (Kate) and 1980 (Laura), grew up with unconventional parents in the post-hippie paradise of Santa Cruz, California, before studying liberal arts at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation the sisters moved back to their parents’ home in Pasadena, where they founded Rodarte – named after their mother’s Mexican maiden name. Their special mix of theatrical and cinematic fabrics, colours and artisan techniques combined with a naïve, almost amateur enthusiasm has cultivated their own personal fan club. The California dreamers with no formal fashion training but brains bursting with improbably romantic and decadent designs, proving two heads are better than one. In less than ten years, since hand-finishing their first collection of ten dresses, they’ve dominated the luxury gown game. They’re worn by starlets during award season and cover girls the year round. The pair collaborated on blockbuster Black Swan featuring Natalie Portman (who also got married in Rodarte) as well as having an autumn/winter 06 dress acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute in 2008; the highlight of their careers, they told us. 

Secret Obsession? Swimming pools.
Favourite film? Kate: Pretty in Pink. Laura: Star Wars or A New Hope.


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