Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the designing duo behind of-the-moment label Rodarte, are no stranger to collaborations. Who wasn’t clamoring to get their hands on anything—and we mean anything—from the Rodarte for Target capsule collection? Now the California-bred designers are collaborating with Knoll Luxe, the luxury textile division of the furniture company Knoll Inc., on a range of exquisitely conceived textile fabrics.
The collection, which will be available in the beginning of May, includes eight fabrics—three for drapery and five for upholstery. “Fabrics always take on a life of their own for us,” says Kate. “We’re constantly reworking our fabrics and are very open to how things are created. When Dorothy [Cosonas, Knoll Textile’s creative director] asked us to collaborate, we were really excited to focus so intensely on the design of the textiles themselves.” Rodarte has been heralded for its unorthodox techniques for creating fabrics seen in their runway shows, so this collaboration is a welcome surprise. Inspired by key pieces from past fashion collections, each fabric in the collection is named after a favorite poet. Auden is a drapery textile that incorporates unusual hues digitally printed up the roll of woven ramie. Another drapery textile, Parker, uses fine metallic and cotton threads, and strands of wool that appear suspended in the fabrics sheer body. Cummings, a cotton and silk upholstery fabric resembles water stains, or the mottled surface of cowhide.
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum obtained one of the drapery fabrics, called Emerson, for a recent exhibition Quicktake: Rodarte, where the fabric was burned, reworked, and transformed into something else entirely. Matilda McQuaid, the museum’s deputy curatorial director and head of textiles, liked Rodarte’s Knoll fabrics so much that she acquired seven of them for the museum’s collection.
For anyone looking to update furniture or window-dressings, the Rodarte Knoll Collection is an unexpected collection of beautiful textiles.