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Rodarte’s Fra Angelico Collection Debuts This Weekend at LACMA

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A sketch by Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte's Fra Angelico Collection collection. (Image: From Rodarte's Facebook page.)
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By Adrienne Dorsey/Special to LAist

This Saturday, LACMA will present the RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection, a 10-gown installation that will be displayed alongside classic artwork from the Italian Renaissance. Rodarte designers, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have drawn inspiration from Italian painter Fra Angelico among others for their Spring/Summer 2012 couture designs, using their signature dressmaking techniques, sculptural details and a soft fresco color palette to round out the refined collection.

The Mulleavy sisters, who founded Rodarte in LA in 2005, have donated these custom gowns for LACMA’s permanent collection in the Costume and Textiles Department. The Fra Angelico Collection was unveiled at Pitti Imagine in Florence, Italy last June and this will be its North American debut. The beautifully draped gowns are made of silk fabrics—from taffeta to tulle—and customized using feathers, Swarovski elements, sequins and silk flowers. Metallic accessories including headpieces and breastplates complete the dramatic looks of several key gowns.

Shortly after launching their first collection, Rodarte graced the cover of WWD and received critical praise from Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour—and more recently created the iconic costumes for Darren Aronosky’s film Black Swan. Earlier this year, Rodarte’s first West Coast exhibition, Rodarte: States of Matter, was displayed at MOCA.

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RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection runs Dec. 17 through Feb. 5 at LACMA in the third floor of the Ahmanson Building.