More often than not, Rodarte shows are explosive affairs, with a volcanic oddness and frequent twee-hugging that make them fascinating to me but also very hard to distill for actual human use. That’s not the case here, though. Per Vogue, the sisters said this about their 2021 efforts:

It’s not so much that the tulle explosions or the cake topper confections have dulled; in the face of such tough times, the sisters are emphasizing the importance of making fashion for this fractured world.

“Everything we do is about fantasy and dreams, but we are located in a moment, and we are a part of what is happening now,” said Kate. A fanciful gown, both designers agree, has little place in today’s world, so instead they channeled their efforts into clothing they would want to wear now “without distilling the ideas.” What they’ve gained from a decade and a half in business is a firm understanding of their brand codes: florals, veils, just slightly off sweetness.

Though there is still plenty of extra to be found, that does ring true to me. The clothes do feel a bit more grounded and decipherable this time.

[Photos: Imaxtree]