Rodarte – fashion as art, art as fashion

Is fashion art?  A new exhibition dedicated to the work of the Mulleavy sisters Kate and Laura suggests that it is.


I received an unsolicited but welcome copy of The Mini International magazine a few days ago. Quite a glossy it turns out to be too.  I was expecting lots of articles about carburettors and speccing out my Mini interior – instead Lifestyle and Culture features if with a Mini thread!

One article in particular caught my attention in their Events section titled ‘Rodarte sisters’ inspired by The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles (MOCA) dedicating an exhibition to the brand ‘Rodarte: States of Matter’.

Alas I am not going anywhere near LA soon but thanks to the web further information * and a video on this exhibition is available on the MOCA website.

Rodarte: States of Matter from MOCA on Vimeo.

The installation in the museum’s words ‘portrays garments as charged sculptural objects’.

Much of haute couture is art. Not to say much ready to wear – whether gowns, shoes, handbags or other ensemble combinations – the question is whether such items belong in a museum?  Shopping boutiques can themselves be a living art gallery of ever changing style and fashion imagination.

Fashion is to be worn and is at its most artful worn – a museum exhibition cannot do justice to fashion items simply coldly exhibited?

On the other hand much haute couture is priced beyond most of our purses and perhaps the only opportunities of getting to watch it close up beyond the rarified environs of a fashion runway is in the accessible public space of a museum – where we can come and contemplate it with the reverence it deserves.

  • The information link is no longer current (27 July 2020)