Fashion and Art: Rodarte Couture

Peach crinkle chiffon and taupe georgette pleated and tulle gown, and peach feathers with pleated gold belt and shoulder pieces.

Rodarte recently unveiled their first couture collection at Pitti Immagine in Florence.  The ten gowns were based on the frescoes painted by Fra Angelico in the monks cells in San Marco and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture of The Ecstacy of St Theresa.

Understandably, I’m having a huge art history fangirl moment.

Rodarte are sticklers when it comes to detail, so setting and placement are very important, but I also think that the setting and placement of their Renaissance influences are important when it comes to interpreting their pieces (and these dresses are as close to art as clothing can be, so they beg a bit of analysis).


Even though Fra Angelico’s murals were painted for monk’s cells, occupants of these cells included members of the Medici family, who were the most powerful family in Florence and noted patrons of the arts.  Cosimo de Medici would use the cells for some incredibly expensive alone time.


Bernini’s sculpture is one of the most controversial art pieces of the Renaissance, with what can be interpreted as extremely sexual overtones.  Take a look at Teresa’s face.  Is it intentional or just out modern smutty minds.  The sculpture is flanked by two balconies of realistically-rendered observers, who are very interested in the action going on down below.  In both artworks, there is an element of being watched and of patronage, the rich paying out for art.  That’s the connecting line between couture and art – both are intricately one-offs made to detailed specifications for rich clients

Here are some of the gowns.  I love the belts and breastplates – They’re SOOOOOO Bernini (said in the manner of Kim Kardashian).


Pale and bright pink silk georgette and chiffon pleated and draped gown with hand beaded Swarovski crystals and a gold pleated metal breast plate


Lime silk georgette and crinkle silk chiffon Pleated gown with hand molded Easter lilies, feathers, and Swarovski crystals, Aqua silk georgette and sequin release pleat ocean gown


Cantaloupe pleated Silk, draped silk georgette, and taffeta gown with gold ray belt


l-r, Lapis Silk Chiffon Release Pleat Gown with Electric Blue Sequins and Lavender Silk Gauze. Off White Silk Georgette Pleated Gown with Off White and Crimson Crinkle Silk Organza, Silk Chiffon, Lace, Satin and Crepe Waves, and Hand Molded Easter Lilies decorated with pearl and Swarovski Crystals. Dusty Blue Silk Georgette Release Pleat Column Gown with Pink Silk Satin, Dusty Blue Gauze, Pale Pink and Dusty Pink Feathers, and Swarovski Crystal Element


Gold lame, silk and hammered sequin gown with feathers, a gold headpiece and Swarovski crystals

Rodarte photos from Autumn de Wilde

8 thoughts on “Fashion and Art: Rodarte Couture

  1. Oh my. That hardwear… and is that a freaking crown at the bottom there?!
    I think it’s safe to say as muses go, that Bernini inspires some incredible couture.
    Great post Ms. L.

  2. Oh My God, those gowns are breath taking. The attention to detail is just spectacular! This post reminds me that I have to visit Italy soon. Very soon! :)SarahD x

    We should organise a blogger night out drinking only Daiquiri’s. I’d have to be carted home!! ha.

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