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New York Fashion Week: Rodarte

September 14, 2011 | 10:28 am

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Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy must have had sweetie pie starlets in mind when they designed their charming spring collection, inspired by the artist Van Gogh and his flair for light and shadows, sunflowers and starry nights. And indeed, Taylor Swift, Elle and Dakota Fanning and  Beyonce and Solange Knowles were seated front row at their unimaginably beautiful show full of fairy tale femininity.

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The mood was one of blissful naivete, with a girlish dress in a vibrant yellow metallic sunflower print, with folds in the skirt catching the light, and a draped gown in midnight blue and purple embroidered with "Starry Night" chiffon swirls, sequins and Swarovski crystals. On another dress, in bright aqua blue, variegated silk pleats on the bodice cast subtle shadows, bringing to mind Venetian blinds.

The workmanship was exquisite, with some of the starry prints depicting constellations taken from astronomical charts. Accessories included metallic leather belts, and evening sandals that twinkled with crystals.

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The designers continued to push deeper into the sportswear genre with colorful basket weave hand knit sweaters topping asymmetrical skirts, and brush stroke print tops over pants.

"Nocturnal color," was what they were going for, said Kate Mulleavy, adding that she and her sister, who live in Pasadena, sketched part of the collection at the Norton Simon Museum, where they studied Van Gogh's portrait of his mother, and other paintings.

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The magical, dream-like quality of the collection was meant to evoke the dream scape in one of their favorite films, "Sleeping Beauty."

Which is fitting, since the Mulleavys really are the Walt Disneys of the fashion world. Perhaps they have another film costume deal in the works? Something a little cheerier than "Black Swan."

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New York Fashion Week: Derek Lam

New York Fashion Week: Band of Outsiders

--Booth Moore, reporting from New York

Top photo from left: Actress Rooney Mara, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and singer Taylor Swift; Dakota and Elle Fanning. Credit: Charles Eshelman /Getty Images.

Photos: Looks from the Rodarte spring 2012 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Fernanda Calfat /Getty Images for Kerastase; Stephen Chernin / AP Photo.

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