Gorgeous Gowns Inspired by Italian Frescoes

Come to the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) from now till February 5 to see a gorgeous exhibition. Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection is by “of the moment” fashion designers/sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte that shows ten extraordinary gowns inspired by frescoes (mural paintings on walls or ceilings) painted by the early Italian Renaissance artist, Fra Angelico, and as well as the Baroque sculpture, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen fashion designers inspired by art, this exhibition promises to be breathtaking because the Rodarte gowns are displayed in LACMA's Italian Renaissance gallery, surrounded by true Italian masterpieces. Suspended from invisible wires in the middle of the space, the dresses, in their beautiful array of colors, play off all the artwork on the walls.

On their recent trip to Florence, the sisters were so overcome with the beauty of the art, that everywhere they went they cried. “Color really guided us for this,” Kate said. “We usually work with the idea of who is going to wear or buy something. But this was an opportunity to do something just to make it.”

“The frescoes have a chalky nature — like, they’re full of beautiful vibrant colors, but they’re chalky,” said Laura. “We wanted to find fabrics that had that quality, that weren’t so completely shiny that they seemed too vibrant. We started thinking of each dress as something that could exist as part of a fresco.”


Annalena Altarpiece by Fra Angelico at Museum of San Marco

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection at LACMA

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