Haute Fashion: Rodarte’s Breathtaking Costumes in Black Swan

And one, two, three, four and plié…

The graceful art of ballet has made a comeback and it has attracted the likes of those in the fashion world. Due to the breathtaking and sculptural costumes seen in the the Academy Award winning film, Black Swan, many anticipated the ending credits to see who designed such costumes.

Even though they were not mentioned in the costume credits, the smart and fantastical Mulleavy sisters of the infamous fashion house Rodarte, were being praised by those who just couldn’t get enough of the costume designs. The Director Darren Aronofsky and Costume Designer Amy Westcott pondered about ways they would be able to bring an element of contemporary fashion design into film to bring it to another different level. As any A-list Hollywood celebrity, Natalie Portman was always a familiar face in the front row of many of Rodarte’s groundbreaking runway shows. Natalie Portman introduced the director with the designers and that is where the magic began. After Aronofsky, Westcott, and the Mulleavy sisters worked up a design scheme for the costumes, seven over-to-top black and white swan costumes, as well as outfits for the entire ballet corps, were created.

But don’t fret over why the Mulleavy sisters names weren’t part of the nominations list for Best Costume Design at the Oscars. The tutus designed for Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The exhibition, titled Rodarte: States of Matter, demonstrates the skilled use of textiles and will feature more than 20 other creations done by the fashion house.

“The designs can be viewed in a totally different way, becoming works of sculpture rather than fashion,” said Rebecca Morse, curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition has a black, white, and red theme and showcases the extreme fabric treatments used by Rodarte to achieve a desired effect. Natalie Portman, a fan and friend of the designers, stated about the sisters, “They are really curious about every sort of area of the world. They know everything about ecology and art and modern science. You are like, `I don’t understand how they have so much room in their brains.’ It’s amazing.”

Rodarte: States of Matter
MOCA Pacific Design Center
March 4-June 5
For more information, visit

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