Los Angeles County Museum of Art displays Rodarte gowns

You already knew it, but now it is official: Designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s work is art. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is revealing the North American debut of RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection: ten stunning gowns from the duo’s Spring/Summer 2012 couture Rodarte line. Inspired by the frescoes of Renaissance artist Fra Angelico, the ten pieces will be exhibited in the Italian Renaissance gallery, amid classic Renaissance artworks, from Dec. 17, 2011 until Feb. 5, 2012. The collection was first presented as an installation at Florence’s Pitti Imagine in June 2011.

”The ten gowns are the first works by Rodarte to enter the museum’s permanent holdings, and we are pleased to present this outstanding collection,” Sharon S. Takeda, senior curator and head of the Costume and Textiles Department, said in a statement.

Every dress displays Rodarte’s classic techniques and sculptural inspiration. Taking a cue from the palette of the Italian frescoes, the ten pieces feature silk fabrics – chiffon, crepe, gauze, lamé, organza, satin and taffeta – draped and fashioned to create form and texture. The gowns are embellished with feathers, Swarovski elements, sequins and hand-molded Easter lilies and finished with hand-sculpted golden accessories evoking Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Baroque sculptures.

The Fra Angelico Collection draws inspiration from specific works of Italian art: the Renaissance frescoes painted by Fra Angelico in the monastery of San Marco and the Baroque sculpture Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini. The colors of the surrounding Renaissance artwork are picked up by the draped and pleated silk fabrics.

"We are so honored that our Fra Angelico Collection from Pitti Immagine in Florence has come to LACMA, and to see it installed amongst the museum's masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance is an incomparable experience for us,” said Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte in a statement.

Founded in 1965, LACMA is committed to exhibiting art across the centuries that represents LA’s eclectic populations. Its robust collections span various continents – Asia, Latin America, Europe – plus the United States. The museum is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, visit

Tagged in: dresses, rodarte, gowns, couture, kate mulleavy, laura mulleavy, lacma, los angeles county museum of art, frescoes, renaissance art, fra angelico, rodarte: fra angelico collection,



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