Designer Dish. Rodarte Makes Film Debut with “Black Swan”

December 3, 2010 • Fashion

Rodarte02 Exclusive costume sketches by Rodarte for "Black Swan"

Who better to be picked to outfit the elaborate drama of "Black Swan" than the  Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte? Known for their rich fabrics, voluminous proportions and immaculate attention to detail, Rodarte will make their grand debut as costume designers when the film hits theaters today.

WWD reported that the design duo was introduced to the film's director, Darren Aronofsky, by the star of the movie, Natalie Portman. The Mulleavys created 40 costume pieces for his film. Most appear in the onstage performances of “Swan Lake.” For example, the character Prince Siegfried wears a distressed velvet outfit overlaid with an embroidered floral cheesecloth — “so it looks like a spider web that’s taken over him,” Laura Mulleavy noted— while character Odette dons a flat pancake tutu covered in broken white angora wool, which, the designer adds, gives the appearance of “tree branches growing on [the skirt].”

Exclusive costume sketches by Rodarte for "Black Swan"

What played to the designer's advantage was the dark and menacing tone that Aronofsky chose to embrace throughout the film, turning the film into borderline horror. The Mulleavys love to dabble in the dark, having often claimed films like 1931’s “Frankenstein” as an influence. Reportedly, for one of the early meetings with the director, the sisters brought along images from their fall 2008 collection, a gorgeous mash-up of ballet and Japanese horror motifs. Clearly, they were a perfect choice from the beginning. 

Rodarte03 Exclusive costume sketches by Rodarte for "Black Swan"

The Mulleavys also designed the various knitwear worn throughout the film — gray leotards, shawls, leg- and armwarmers — as well as the silk tulle-and-chiffon gown Portman wears for a scene in which her character, Nina Sayers, is introduced as the prima ballerina. The sisters said that now the project was over, they were definitely open to doing it again. “What’s interesting is that, as designers, our job is something so seasonal,” Laura said. “You finish a show and you’re already thinking about your next one. In film, you make pieces of clothing that go down in history. It’s been very, very exciting for us.”

See all the striking and theatrical costumes created by Rodarte when "Black Swan" opens in theaters all over today!


-Alia Rajput

Article and Photo Source: WWD


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