Though up-and-comers are quite exciting, certain fashion designers earned their place at the top of the game for a reason. Rodarte and Givenchy were no exception this New York Fashion Week, and their spring 2016 ready-to-wear collections stood out. For Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy, sticking to a brand that doesn't adhere to the rules of the fashion world is what makes the bohemian-gothic label so special, and this season was true to character. Givenchy had an extra-special show this season, as Riccardo Tisci brought the label to New York for their first American show.
Though the two labels' aesthetics differ greatly, they both developed collections with plenty of dark, romantic, moody and sensual lace, a hefty use of black for spring, and intricate embellishment.
Laura and Kate Mulleavy certainly stick to their brand, nodding to the pastel-loving season in their own way with wispy layers and black lace, with flowers in onimous but oh-so-pretty embellished forms. Seventies-style paisley and crushed velvet appeared in small doses, coupled by the Rodarte staples of moody lace and soft ruffles.
Despite the Mulleavy sisters' strict adherence to an aesthetic code of gothic beauty, they weren't unaffected by the recent impact of the seventies on the fashion world. Exaggerated silhouettes in shag and suede reflected an awareness of the trending decade, but romantic bohemian happens to run in the Mulleavy veins as well, so it wasn't entirely unexpected.
Givenchy, too, used a liberal amount of romantic lace, but it had a more modern feel with futuristic paillettes and mod shape cut-outs and mesh panels. The collection was dark and sexy, not out of line with the label's reputation, but it had a timelessness to the black and white formula only updated with the modernity cuts brought to the lace and silk dresses.
The juxtaposition of hardness of black leather and softness of body-skimming silk was exactly the mix of gothic classicism and sharp modernism one might expect out of Tisci, keeping Givenchy a label at the peak of the fashion industry's interest.
Despite the comparisons drawn between Rodarte and Givenchy as well as the two labels' obvious differences, it's clear that the designers know their way around embellishments. From studs to fringe, rosettes to paillettes, Tisci and the two Mulleavy's found endless ways to enhance a simple silhouette with hard-but-pretty embellishment.