Fringe Festival

Rodarte's Ode to Los Angeles

Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s collection for Rodarte, which showed in New York on Tuesday, was inspired by the mood of Southern California.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Last season, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy took audiences on a trip to Santa Cruz, the town in Northern California where they grew up.

And this season, they brought them down south: to Los Angeles.

The show opened with a surprising look: a model in a backward flat-brimmed baseball hat (embossed with a picture of a scorpion), a black bra, and a low-slung, studded belt with matching suspenders over a white-fringed skirt.

The 32 looks that followed unfolded around that theme. Animal prints abounded: snakeskin booties, leopard-print hot pants, zebra-printed flamingo skirts. Long fringe came on skirts, bras, and even tiny shorts.

The collection had masculine elements, such as the hats and oversize flannel shirts, and then more delicate things for evening, such as a black satin cocktail dress with a scorpion embroidered on front and back.

“We wanted it to be more about the feeling of L.A.,” said Laura Mulleavy after the show. She said they didn't have a specific neighborhood in mind but rather were inspired by the feel and freedom of the city.

In the scrum of reporters backstage after the show, someone asked Mulleavy whether the collection had a “Vegas connection.” “No,” she said, laughing. “Sorry!”