Laura and Kate Mulleavy were the winners of this years Council of Fashion Designers of America Womenswear Designer(s) of the Year. Who are these award winning ladies, you ask? Well let me give you the run down.
In 2008 the sisters won the CFDA coveted award of Emerging Womenswear Designer Award and have won a following of people like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin. However, they did not just appear in the fashion world, they worked their way up through the back door.
In 2005 Rodarte was founded by the Mulleavy sisters in Pasadena,California. The line, bearing their mother’s maiden name, was made after their graduation from U.C. Berkeley. Kate and Laura, 30 and 29 years old respectively, graduated college in 2001 with liberal arts degrees. They boarded the plane to New York with 10 garments on their laps and hope in their hearts that one day they would make their name in the fashion community. They arrived to the fashion capital and showed their collection to every editor and buyer they could track down. Their attention to detail would be their key to success. Their couture-like style shot them straight to the top and the awards began to pour in.
These two don’t look like your typical fashion-passion ladies but their work speaks volumes. They take the approach of minimal yet extravagant, rough yet refined, intellectual yet effortless, something I am a HUGE fan off. Their style is said to resemble the craftsmanship of influential designers like Coco Chanel. They have won even support from major Fashion Heads like Anna Wintour.
The sisters were destined for greatness at an early age. At the age of 5 they began drawing. Their mother, an artist, exposed them to the arts. Their father, a botanist, exposed them to math and science but also had an interest in photography. He took pictures of abstract patterns which have inspired their pattern choices of today.
They knew that if they would do fashion they needed to get out of Pasadena. Before they left to take their collection to New York they took a chance by sending a letter to Cameron Silver, a L.A. Stylist. They asked him to review the collection and from then on he has become their mentor.
When they first arrived to New York they had no appointments to show their collection. They were banking on their unique idea of look books made of paper dolls and sending those to top editors. They got their first call from Women’s Wear Daily and they were on the cover in a matter of 3 days.
In 2006 their line grew to 16 pieces but they were limited because of the complication of their fabrics and sewing process. They make each garment start to finish one at a time to make them beautiful and special. It has taken them 100 hours to make one knee length cocktail dress!
The self taught sisters gained their designing skills from trial and error. They are not afraid of trying new things and learning from their team which works closely with them. The process they have is pretty simple. They start with inspiration and work in a abstract way to unfold the collection. They like to capture a moment or feeling as opposed to a literal translation of their ideas and inspirations.
Since they began they have won recognition such as:
– 2006 Runner up in CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Competition
– 2007 Rodarte gown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute
– 2008 Rodarte is selected a finalist in the ANDAM competition
– 2008 Rodarte is awarded the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award
– 2008 Rodarte is awarded the Swiss Textiles Award
– 2009 Rodarte is awarded Womenswear Designers of the Year
Rodarte is a marvelous and captivating collection with prices ranging from $1300 to $2000. Made form only the most expensive fabrics and time consuming techniques, the ultra feminine line is sold everywhere from Barneys to Bergdorf. Their clientele includes Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Obama and the style sweetie Chloe Sevigny.
These two sisters are an inspiration for me because, as a college student looking to get into the fashion arena, I want to know that there is hope for the untrained. After researching the journey of the Mulleavy sisters, I see that anything is possible with faith, talent, and tenacity. They are bringing back the importance of detail and care that should be put into every garment that a women wears. They certainly are hot up-and-coming designers that deserve all the success that is soon to come after their win at the CFDA awards.
So ladies, here is to you! Thanks for paving the way, now watch out for me!
June 5, 2009
Eric Daman is a stylist that is not new to the scene, but his presence is now being felt. He is the star stylist of the hit show Gossip Girls. He has also collaborated with Patricia Fields in styling for Sex and the City series. Eric has styled for other movies such as 40 shades of Blue, The Door in the Floor, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Quip Pro Quo, and others.
Eric’s career began when he was studying in Paris at Sorbonne and working as a buyer at Magic Circle. He was spotted by Steven Meisel in 1993 who was a model scout. Steven saw Daman in a store and next thing you know, he was casted with Kate Moss.
After moving to New York as a full time model he was able to secure the editorial shoots for Rolling Stone, Spin, The Face, and Visionnaire Magazines. While he was in New York living the fab life of a model, he ran into an acquaintance, Patricia Fields. She immediately hired him as her assistant in styling for SATC. It’s no doubt he took a few pointers from our favorite, Ms. Fields, and used them when concocting styles for the Gossip Girls crew.
Eric has proven to be a very interesting stylist because that he likes to mix the expensive fashion with the thrifty. He believes ( like we all do in times of economic turmoil) that it’s the way of all stylish women and men to mix YSL tops with H&M bottoms. Those outfits not only look great but allow those of us with a limited budget to get a cute look for less.
Something else I absolutely love is that he aspires to have a mass line that will go in Kohl’s or Target. He has shown his commitment to affordable fashion which is admirable. Now a days, this is the route a lot of designers , such as Vera Wang and Isaac Mizrahiare, are taking. He has recently landed a deal with Charlotte Russe to make some fashion forward/affordable designs. (Thank God, they need some help!) His contract will last through December 2010, we should all be looking out for some changes in their clothing lines.
Regardless of where Eric ends up, he will always be known for his A class work with Gossip Girls cast. He was even given the opportunity to designe a window at Henri Bendel (and afterward he was giving a huge bash).
He had fun, huh? Anyways the window was fabu.
He played up to the teeny-boppers with his use of text phrases. I must be old because I have no idea what these letters mean! Moving on :-)….
His styling on Gossip Girl has landed him a lot of press, which is well deserved. He does such a great job capturing the characters and making statements through their wardrobes that the scripts don’t include. His favorite character to dress is the nonchalant, yet sweetheart in his own mean way, Chuck Bass. He shows that a straight guy can and should use color to his advantage. Chuck’s character never strays from color and outstanding outfit choices. They suit him well… get it “suit.” ehh I tried.
Doesn’t he just look like a modern day Fonzi ? Ugh, you have GOT to love him. Additionally, He believes that Serena is hardest to dress, but he does such an amazing job with her too.( I have been sinspired by some of her outfits.) He says that the cast gives their opinion about what they want to wear, but ultimately they trust him, as they should–I mean he has only been doing this FOREVER.
My blog is focused on the people behind the fashion, and that is Eric Daman, however he does have a team of 25 helping him along the way. Let’s not forget the effort they put in to make this show the most talked about fashion television series since Sex and the City.
Who would have ever believed that a rural Michigan native like Eric would be so influential in the fashion world today? That just proves that anyone can make it. In his case connections and being in the right place, at the right time in addition to true talent has made him into the renowned stylist and costume designer he is today.
It is important that we don’t forget his face or his name because I guarantee he will become even more successful than he is today.
Eric, here is to you! Your quirky, individual style and outgoing personality will keep you in the spotlight and we like having you there. Please keep styling our favorite prep school kiddies ( now going to college) the way we love it!