Fashion: Van Gogh Sunflowers and 'Sleeping Beauty'
BY SUZY MENKES
Van Gogh meets Walt Disney sounds like a dangerous liaison. And so it was when Rodarte brought sunflowers bright and faded into the orbit of the ''Sleeping Beauty'' movie.
If you half-closed your eyes you could see the small-waisted, full-skirted dresses as a symbol of an era of innocence, their surfaces decorated with the vivid sunshine symbols of a tortured artist.
It should have been a magic moment during New York's spring/summer 2012 season. But the eyes of the audience were drawn more to Beyoncé sitting front row, puffy rompers covering the early signs of pregnancy. The star looked half-ridiculous but mostly cute. The models looked awkward.
For it turns out that refreshing the dress, which is a big story in American fashion, is not as simple as it seems. The winning looks are cut on geometric lines or decorated with the ubiquitous digital flower prints.
Where did the Mulleavy sisters lose their touch at Rodarte? There were other outfits in vivid mixes of blue and green that had an allure — although not the dark undertone usually associated with the design duo, who said they were obsessed with the saturated, filmic colors of Disney's 1959 ''Sleeping Beauty.''
But Van Gogh has popped up many times before in fashion, not least as the compelling beaded jackets of embroidered sunflowers and irises from Yves Saint Laurent in 1988. Kate and Laura Mulleavy did not push their concept forward enough to make it seem like more than just another floral frock.
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