LACMA Acquires Rodarte's New Bernini-Inspired Collection, Unveiled at Florence's Pitti W

Theunstoppable Laura and Kate Mulleavy, the sisters behind Rodarte, have debuted their latest creations atfashion trade show Pitti W, this time unveiling 10 couture gowns and previewingtheir upcoming monograph, "Rodarte, Catherine Opie, Alec Soth." The Mulleavys worked with designer Alexandrede Betak and his firm, Bureau Betak, to create an installation to display the clothes, which openedwith the announcement that the collection is being acquired by the Los AngelesCounty Museum of Art.

Framed againstneon lights, the gowns floated in the air like immaculate pieces of sculpture —seemingly appropriate — as the Mulleavys cited early Italian Renaissance painter Fra Angelico's frescoes in themonks' cells at the Convent of San Marco and High Roman Baroque sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's "The Ecstasy of SaintTeresa" (1647-1652) as inspiration for the collection. The pieces, createdexclusively for the event, were set in a series of chambers juxtaposed againstthe raw interior of an abandoned building in central Florence.

"Laura and I havebeen deeply inspired by Florenceand its artistic legacy," Kate Mulleavy explained in a statement. "We have spent countlesshours dreaming of the poetic city, every detail magnified by our own curiosityand imagination."

Moonshine white,aqua, pistachio, lavender, mauve, dusty blue, and crimson were part of thecollection's color palette, while rays of gold appeared throughout, in the formof metal headbands, belts, breast plates. The duo used feathers, 30,000Swarovski crystals, lamé, taffeta, organza, silk georgette, and tulle toconstruct the ethereal gowns.

LACMA is looking forward to the garments heading back to the Mulleavys' hometown. "We are thrilled thatthese works by two exceptional fashion artists from our great city will becoming to LACMA," museum director Michael Govan said.