Radar: Kate and Laura Mulleavy design for ‘Black Swan’

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the founders and lead designers for clothing brand Rodarte, are the masterminds behind 40 coveted costume pieces for the motion picture, “Black Swan,” set to release Dec.3 of this year.

The thriller was a perfect match for the sisters, who consider themselves to be quite the horror movie buffs.

“If I had imagined a dream film, this is definitely the one to sign us up for,” Laura Mulleavy admitted to Style.com.

The job was no walk in the park for the inventive pair, who admitted to challenges while constructing the classic ballet pieces.

“A tutu is 13 layers of tulle sticking straight out, and then it’s over the body, so you can imagine. It’s crazy!” Laura told New York Magazine. “Building a tutu is one of the lost couture arts. Everyone will know it’s like getting your hand on the prize; like a coveted piece of couture that no one ever gets to see.”

The film showcases Nina’s (Natalie Portman) struggle with the duality of portraying the innocence and grace of the White Swan, as well as the sensuality of the Black Swan. This struggle manifests itself in the costume design, in which the Rodarte design duo were challenged with making two distinct costumes for each scene: one in black and the other in white.

Laura Mulleavy revealed to WWD their inspiration for Prince Siegfried’s (the leading male in Swan Lake), darker side: “We imagined him like a mechanical bird. His breast is even padded out like a bird.”

Dabbling in the art of costume design seemed only natural in the Mulleavys’ fast-paced race to establish themselves as creative visionaries in the fashion world. The two made their designing debut in 2005, after graduating from UC Berkeley.

The designers have been praised for their attention to detail, romantic style and hand-sewn touches.

“We want to create collections that are beautiful,” Laura Mulleavy told W Magazine three years ago. “Wearability is subjective.”


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