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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rodarte for Target - A Review

After weeks of anticipation, I braved my local Target this afternoon for a look at Rodarte's efforts for the latest GO International collection the day before the official debut. Fortunately, the store had a large selection, with most sizes still on the racks. Unfortunately, the lace tights and knee socks were nowhere to be found. Here's what the racks looked like at about 2pm...

Rodarte for Target

Rodarte for Target

Rodarte for Target

Rodarte for Target

Rodarte for Target

Rodarte for Target

After a quick scan of each rack, I pulled a few of my favorites and headed off to the steaming hot fitting rooms. The first piece I tried was the much-blogged about sequin rib cage dress. I pulled a size small, and added my own belt for a blouson effect. Here are my thoughts on the pros and cons:
Pros: fashion forward, eye-catching, sequins seemed to be attached pretty well.
Cons: back is made of polyester (not sequins), the length was too long before I belted it, and the fabric was ever so slightly itchy/stiff on my skin. Also, the fit was a bit awkward, as the dress wasn't as form-fitting as I'd hoped.
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Rodarte for Target sequin ribcage dress

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Next up was the gorgeous floral halter dress. I can imagine wearing this to a fancy lunch, wedding shower, or tea party, if only I had such events to attend...
Pros: beautiful print, great textural detail, decent lining, cute bow detail.
Cons: made me look bigger, hook and eye neck closure was a little tricky.

Rodarte for Target floral halter dress

Rodarte for Target floral halter dress
After seeing Dakota Fanning model the leopard lace dress in Teen Vogue, I had to try it on. I pulled a size 3, added my belt, and was both surprised and disappointed. Here's why:
Pros: very well-tailored, trendy print, intricate lace texture, fair price for the amount of detail and the fit.
Cons: too tight in the arms, slightly stiff fabric, difficult to zip up the center back zipper and snap the three bows in the back.

Rodarte for Target leopard lace dress
Rodarte for Target leopard lace dress
Here's the black slip dress in a size small. I imagine wearing this in a way that's more rocker grunge than sugary and feminine. Perhaps some studded boots or a moto jacket would toughen it up to my liking.
Pros: comfortable (not itchy), nice lace trim and lingerie-like styling, great price for the amount of detail, also comes in mustard and nude colorways.
Cons: too much static cling, slightly difficult side zip (gets stuck), looks best on women with medium or larger busts.
Rodarte for target black slip dress
The sequin gray leopard dress was one of the items on my wish list, and I tried on a size small.
Pros: suitable for parties and nights on the town, sequins are sewn on pretty well, easy pull-on style, has a comfortable lining, silhouette and length are flattering on various body types.
Cons: awkward loose fit in the underarm area, low cut in the front.
Rodarte for Target sequin dress

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I grabbed the black printed tee (in as size small) because I was intrigued by the sketch-like print and hadn't seen it on any blogs, lookbooks, or on ebay.
Pros: runs true to size, made of 100% cotton, interesting print, fits well, is soft.
Cons: like the sequin leopard dress, the U-neckline was very low cut and would require some layering.
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I didn't plan on buying any of the lace or knit cardigans in the collection, but I was undeniably smitten by the one in black lace. The fact that it felt like summer today probably contributed to my buying it as well. The styling options with this cardigan lend itself to Gothic glamour as well as ladylike/prim and proper, and such versatility strongly appeals to me.
Pros: soft, delicate floral pattern, sturdy snap closures, includes two patch pockets, has hefty ribbed cuffs and hem, perfect for layering, also comes in mustard and nude colorways.
Cons: can't think of any, I liked everything about it!
Rodarte for Target lace cardigan
After seeing the coral wrap dress on one blogger, I was impressed and curious. I didn't hesitate to grab my size.
Pros: very ladylike, great lace detail on upper back, has nice embroidery, vintage-like styling, has a lining.
Cons: too diaphanous (lightweight), made me feel older (as if I raided my grandmother's closet), wrist closures a little tricky/tight.
Rodarte for target wrap dress

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Before I wrap up this review, I've got two requests for Target executives:


1. Instruct your store employees/managers to use a/c in the fitting rooms. (It's always too hot, and makes me want to leave the store empty-handed ASAP.)
2. Send memos, have brief meetings, or educate your employees about upcoming Target collections. How can so many Target employees be so clueless about such a hugely anticipated collection? (I called more than 4 stores before anyone knew who Rodarte was or that it was even coming out this month).

All in all, it looked like a very delicate and girly collection by the Mulleavy sisters. Attention to detail, interesting use of texture, various prints (stripes, floral, lace, leopard, sketch-like, and vintage-inspired) and feminine flourishes make this collection unlike any of the previous GO International collections. Although polyester was heavily used, it felt softer and appeared to be of higher quality than in typical GO International collections. The Rodarte pieces touched on several trends that I'm enjoying this season and that I'll still be wearing next season: sequins, animal prints, sheer details, lingerie styling, and vintage glamour. I would've liked to have seen some pants, leggings, or more tights/legwear in this collection. Come spring, I can imagine that the delicate camisoles, the slip dresses, and the lace cardigans will be perfectly appropriate and on-trend.