It isn’t unusual for two leading fashion houses to take inspiration from the same source in one particular season; after all, we all see similar influences all around us. But when the application is nigh on identical, you have to wonder if both designers happened to have a nostalgic sci-fi movie night in before they began creating.
The two fashion houses in question are US designers Rodarte and UK based Preen. Rodarte are made up of sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy and are renowned for their love of everything sci-fi and quirky. They are known for incorporating their own childhood memories into their designs and using nostalgic references throughout their careers.
The pair showcased their latest designs at New York Fashion Week last week and at the time were met with mixed reviews. Fast forward one week later and Preen revealed a near identical look, with Darth Vader taking centre stage in their designs. Fashion pundits started wondering if a sci-fi trend could be the next big thing.
Rodarte’s collection included floor length gowns with prints from Star Wars including the Death Star, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO and Yoda. Laura Mulleavy spoke to Style.com after the NYFS: “We wanted to do a collection based off this very ethereal idea of what is childhood nostalgia and thinking about who you were and what you loved, and what you dreamed about – the way you saw colour, the way you remember colour, things like that.” She added: “We couldn’t have done a collection like this and not included Star Wars. Those films represent for us a time when anything was possible and it’s so rare that you can use a film still as artwork and have it look like a painting. It’s so beautiful.”
The sisters met George Lucas, the director of Star Wars back in 2012 when he attended a Rodarte fashion show. They became good friends and he agreed to them using a still from the film in order to bring their silk Star Wars memories to life.
British label Preen, headed up by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi were actually approached by Disney to collaborate with them. Bregazzi spoke to Elle.com after the show to explain how the collection came about: “Disney had invited us to do work with them, and Justin is a huge Star Wars geek. Obviously we were shocked when [Rodarte showed their collection], because nobody told us, but we just thought that it was too late to change the collection.”
Although neither designer knew that the other one was concentrating on a Star Wars theme, it was lucky that Preen had concentrated on Darth Vader, otherwise it would have been pretty awkward when the press photographs came out a day later. Particularly as Preen’s clothes also featured floor length gowns with graphic prints. To put their Star Wars stamp on the collection however, Preen employed an army of Stormtroopers just to get their message across.
Thanks to both Rodarte and Preen, the fashion industry is now in no doubt as to the sci-fi theme for autumn and winter, it just remains to be seen whether other designers will follow suit.
To be honest, if you’re talking sci-fi fashion, we’d be more than happy to see a Star Trek fashion revival; I mean, imagine those skintight mustard coloured uniforms making a comeback?