An LA vibe _ with a lot of flash _ at Rodarte

Associated Press
The Rodarte Spring 2014 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Their fall collection was inspired by Northern California, where they grew up, and so the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte decided that for spring, they needed to head south — to Los Angeles, where they live now.

"I always knew it would be a two-part story," said Laura Mulleavy, who designs with her sister, Kate. "We had to do LA next, to create a balance."

For those who have followed the Mulleavys, this collection for spring was a far cry from the ethereal, soft clothes they created, for example, two years ago when their inspiration was Vincent Van Gogh. The current collection was heavy on urban edge, attitude and a strong street vibe.

Many of the ensembles were surprisingly flashy, such as beaded bra tops shimmering with Swarovski crystal elements. One of these came in leopard, adding to the nightclub effect. Sometimes these tops were paired with much more toned-down accompaniments — for example, a nice tweed jacket.

There was lots and lots of fringe: On faux leather skirts, for example, and on silk shorts — or, for a fancier look, on a white silk jacquard and silk satin dress. Speaking of shorts, they were often so short, it sometimes looked like the models had nothing on underneath their jackets.

The Mulleavys used an embroidered scorpion to embellish some garments, and were fond of ruffles, too, using an unusual ruffled-bodice look on a few items.

Some of the nicer looks came last, with several elegant tiered, ruffled dresses, and also a yummy angora off-the-shoulder sweater, paired with a black-and-white angora striped mini skirt.

Backstage, surrounded by well-wishers including the actress Rashida Jones, the Mulleavys were hard pressed to specify what it was about Los Angeles that influenced their designs.

"It's hard to explain," said Laura Mulleavy. It's unconscious. It's a feeling more than anything specific. What do we feel about the city? We love LA."

She scoffed, though, when someone suggested a different city might also be part of the show's vibe — Las Vegas. "No!" Mulleavy said emphatically.

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