It may well be the rolling hills of North Carolina that adorn Rag & Bone's home page, but the candlelit and dry-iced interior of the imposingly domed Gotham Hall suggested that Marcus Wainwright and David Neville had set their sights on a location more distant in time and place this season. Like Lady Chatterley's estate, for instance. Mellors the gamekeeper wouldn't have looked amiss in a black donkey jacket (though the real McCoy would probably have had a poacher's pocket on the inside). And the plaid hacking jacket was suitable garb for rural pursuits. Wainwright and Neville went even further back, to the Georgian sartoria of Beau Brummell, when they offered tidy cutaway jackets or fitted waistcoats with a narrow shawl collar (they called them "Nelson" waistcoats, and they were indeed just like the item sported by the famous admiral).
But if all this sounds like rampant historicism, it was counteracted by the little clashes that ultimately characterized the collection: pinstriped tuxedo pants paired with a black leather biker jacket, or one of those cutaways worn with combat pants. And never forget that the Rag & Bone empire is built on jeans, shown here in a panoply of choice, so the label's romantic flights of fancy (as well as its increasingly sophisticated approach to tailoring) are founded firmly on commercial reality.