Fashion: The sisters in chiffon

Click to follow
The Independent Online

For some, an extraordinarily talented sibling can be the root of a lifelong neurosis. No such problems for the equally gifted fashion designer sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy (inset left and right). Just three years after its launch, their LA-based Rodarte label has become one of the hottest emerging names in international fashion, winning fans from the more cerebral end of the celebrity spectrum, including Cate Blanchett, Dita von Teese and Kirsten Dunst. Fellow designers seem equally smitten: "I'd love to be able to do what they do," confided the king of London Fashion Week Giles Deacon recently.

Not bad for two girls who sold their record collection to fund their business and presented their initial designs on miniature paper dolls.

And if it all sounds like a fashion fairytale, wait until you see the clothes. This season, inspired by kabuki theatre and Japanese horror films, their artfully dishevelled chiffon dresses and ethereal loose-spun knits are perfect attire for flower faeries turned bad.

There are, of course, other sibling teams in fashion – east London's Christopher Kane is inseparable from his muse and sister Tammy, while Canadian twins Dan and Dean Caten seem to be throwing a permanent party on the catwalk at DSquared. But what makes the Mulleavys especially endearing is that they're normal to the point of being radical: fresh-faced, not at all self-conscious and really rather scruffy. "We're not Chanel," Kate recently told the New York Times. "[It's not like we] have millionaire boyfriends and yachts."