It’s not every day that you get to see a Rodarte gown up close and personal. Those moments are typically reserved for the rarefied world of celebrity. The LA-based brand, ran by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, usually dresses people Chloë Sevigny, and perhaps most famously, Natalie Portman in the movie “Black Swan.” But now, they’re bringing their designs to Washington D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts for those not privy to red carpet dressing to experience.
The exhibit focuses on Rodarte’s 13-year long existence (the brand was founded in 2005), and will feature more than 90 complete looks from the its most “pivotal” collections. No matter how many videos of Rodarte fashion shows you may have streamed on YouTube, Laura tells The Washington Post that “there’s something special about seeing what we make in real life. When you take a flat photo of something that’s very three-dimensional, no matter how beautiful the shot is, it loses something.”
Set up like a runway show, visitors will get an intimate look at the garments and fashion “moments” that have taken Rodarte from budding fashion label to industry luminary — including the tutu from “Black Swan.”
Of the “Black Swan” dress, Laura says: “There’s the beauty [of being a ballet dancer], but there’s an undercurrent of brutality, and that’s what we wanted to do with the costume [for the 2010 film].” She adds: “All of it makes you feel like the character is wild. Making something to go with our dear friend Natalie [Portman’s] performance was really special — seeing her go through that transformation really changed my view of acting.”
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Rodarte’s exhibit will be on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from November 10 through February 10, 2019.