After the dazzle, glitter, and shine of Rodarte hits the runway, where does it all go? Those in the know should look first to Mother Russia—and more specifically to the closet of Moscow-based It girl Ilona Stolie. The woman-about-town who has a knack for accessorizing tracksuits and flight suits alike is also a die-hard Rodarte fan. Hop onto her Instagram, and you can see Stolie posing in the sequin-slathered, décolletage-diving dresses at local Moscow club Denis Simachev or hanging around the Italian Riviera in one of the Mulleavy’s knitted, appliqué-dotted confections. And she has plenty of frocks to choose from: Since falling in love with the label after their Spring 2008 collection, the flaxen-tressed Stolie has accumulated over 60 Rodarte pieces. And for her, they aren’t simply run-of-the-mill gala staples, but gallery-worthy creations. “To me, the Mulleavy sisters are artists with a ‘capital A.’ They can make a dress out of different fabrics and then add lace, feathers, and sequins—sounds like a nightmare, right? And what you get in the end is a piece of art,” says Stolie. “There’s nothing conventional and predictable in what they do. The attention to details is almost couture-ish.”
Stolie would have started buying Rodarte earlier but it wasn’t always accessible in Russia. “It was really hard to find Rodarte anywhere in, let’s say, 2009,” says Stolie. According to Stolie, it isn’t particularly easy to wear Rodarte either—but that’s not such a bad thing. “It’s kind of difficult to style it with other brands as the items are really special and ‘strong,’ ” says Stolie. “Rodarte is not about fast fashion or trends. Their intellectual approach to clothing may not satisfy a woman who’s just looking for a dress to look sexy or elegant in it.” She compares the whole process of buying Rodarte to investing in different types of art. “It’s like buying a painting—you can choose a sweet landscape and be sure everyone around has nothing bad to say about it—boring, but safe,” she says. “Or you can go for Jean Dubuffet, Francis Bacon, or John Currin, which are definitely more disturbing—but they’ll push your imagination to extremes.” Seems like Stolie has gone the extreme route—and it looks good on her.
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