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Rodarte’s Cobweb Knits Reminded Me Why I Love Fashion

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Rodarte’s Cobweb Knits Reminded Me Why I Love Fashion

It’s been a few seasons since Rodarte showed at New York Fashion Week, and Laura and Kate Mulleavy’s witchy dreamscapes have been sorely missed. Kicking off the official start to the Fall 2023 season yesterday, the Californian sisters went big, filling the former Williamsburg Savings Bank—a grand Classical Revival structure complete with frescoed dome and mosaic marble floors—with a silver banquet mise en scène and so much Gothic prettiness.

There were Bride of Dracula dresses with dramatic bell sleeves, mystical fairy prints hand-drawn by their artist mother, and even a tinsel gown sprouting sparkly wings. But it was the return of the Mulleavys’ signature cobweb knits, first seen in Fall 2008, that made my heart skip a beat and reminded me why I work in fashion.


Fifteen years ago I was a college senior with what I thought was a crazy pipe dream to move to New York and work for a magazine. When I finally landed an interview, I knew I’d better study up because while I certainly liked fashion, I was someone who spent a lot more time reading Victorian novels and writing dance reviews for the arts section of my student paper than I did perusing runway slideshows.

I set myself the task of looking at all the collections for that season so I would be able to name my favorites. When I made it to “R,” I felt a frisson when I saw Rodarte’s cobweb knit dresses and tights—these gossamer loose hand-knit pieces that were inspired by artist Eva Hesse’s string sculptures and Japanese horror films and looked like a cross between Miss Havisham and Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.

Fashion, I realized, would be thrilling to write about: it was not just beauty embodied, but the intersection of all the things I love in culture and the arts. Fast forward to now. Seeing in the flesh Fall 2023’s cobweb dresses in shades of black and yellow and a cobweb ballerina wrap sweater and skirt set in cream, I recognize how fortunate I was to get that internship.

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