There’s been a raft of stories in the fashion press lately about the fact that sales of the seemingly unkillable skinny jean are at last on the wane. But you might want to hold that thought. Ladies may be inclined to take a second look at the skinny after the latest Rodarte show, where stovepipe pants were a major presence on the crystal-covered runway. They came topped by haute barn jackets, gamine silk blouses, and short ruffled sweaters slung off to one side—the latter numero uno, thus far, on this reviewer’s wish list for Spring. The looks had force.
As did the rest of this collection. The show marked a real return to form for Laura and Kate Mulleavy: Playing off aquatic themes, specifically the observation of tidal pools, they progressed more or less organically from terrifically commercial looks to ones that expressed just the kind of artful madness that people crave from their brand. By the time you arrived at the net mermaid dresses clotted with embroidery, you were back under the Rodarte spell. The tidal pool inspiration made a good channel for the Mulleavys’ Miss Havisham-esque hoarder streak—mimicking the way flotsam and jetsam collect in eddies, they embellished their dresses not with restraint, exactly, but with a sense of formal specificity.