In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection.

Knoll Luxe was launched in 2008 as a luxury fabric division of Knoll Textiles. The brand utilizes a global network of specialized and highly skilled textile mills to realize fabrics that combine classic modernism with a strong fashion influence. Under the creative direction of Dorothy Cosonas, Knoll Luxe has worked with young designers, such as Proenza Schouler and Rodarte, to create collections of drapery and upholstery materials for corporate and residential interiors influenced by technology, architecture, and fashion.

Rodarte, widely acclaimed for its daring and conceptual fashion collections, was founded in 2005 by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy in Pasadena, California. Their garments feature complex manipulation of materials and other meticulous surface techniques, including dyeing, marbling, macramé, sanding, distressing, and burning. Rodarte was the first American fashion house to receive the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award in 2008. In 2009, Rodarte was the recipient of the 2009 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award, and was also a National Design Award finalist in the category of fashion design.

In Rodarte’s collaboration with Knoll Luxe, their richly varied surfaces and delicate color sensibility are reinterpreted using techniques suited for commercial and residential interiors, such as jacquard weaving and machine embroidery. Although this is Rodarte’s first foray into textile design, the Mulleavys have created a cohesive collection of great depth that utilizes a sophisticated range of techniques, very skillfully applied.

Susan Brown is the Associate Curator of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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