Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy have seen a lot of success over the past few years, but their most recent Spring 2014 collection was maybe not the most inspiring example of their much-lauded craftsmanship and taste level.
One Forum member called it "a mash-up of Daisy Duke, exotic dancers and urban wear." Another wondered whether the sisters might have sourced their collection from Rihanna for River Island rejected designs.
On NYMag.com, Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan praised the Mulleavy sisters for taking a risk, but thought their attempt to elevate the sexed-up bravado seen in L.A. street style hadn't succeeded: "On the runway, [the clothes] read as cheap," she wrote, "even though they most certainly are not."
No, they most certainly are not. The collection is now available for pre-order on luxury e-commerce site, Moda Operandi. How much does it cost?
The most striking item might be the leopard beaded bra top (pictured right). Although the Swarovski crystal embellishments surely justify its $6,440 price, its design is essentially indistinguishable from a run-of-the-mill tassel belly dance bra (here's one for $14.99). The full runway look (above) costs $13,479.
Obviously, not everything we see on the runways is intended for everyday life and Moda Operandi's approach to curation, in the case of post-fashion week trunk shows, is intentionally hands off. So a Swarovski bra top might not be a fair example of Rodarte Spring 2014 pricing, since the market for that particular piece probably begins and ends with Ke$ha.
A more realistic example: The asymmetrical zebra print dress, pictured below, is listed as one of the collection's "Most Wanted" items. It costs $6,555. Even though that's (remarkably) even higher than the price set for the aforementioned crystal-covered crop top, it would be a fool's errand to try to figure out the better deal.