It takes a lot of chutzpah for any designer to show right before Marc Jacobs, but the William Rast design quartet, fronted by Justin Timberlake, seriously aspires to make a mark on American fashion. (In deference to MJ, though, Team Rast did start punctually enough to leave some editors stranded outside.)
The Fall collection, shown in Bryant Park, trumpeted a "New America," while simultaneously conjuring up celluloid visions of Americana from Thelma & Louise and Rumble Fish. In practice, the gist of these clothes is to recast nostalgic classics with a road-trip bent—the perfect pair of second-skin patchwork jeans; the little leather motorcycle jacket, now in dark gray with sleeves full of brass rivets; the denim mini dressed up with chunks of jet beading. Like Spring, the label's debut season, this was very much a denim collection, and it kept a laserlike focus on the skinny jean. Perhaps Timberlake and co. are thinking evolution, not revolution? That is a respectable strategy, but in an era when celebrities have indeed become wholly viable capital-F fashion designers, Timberlake and his creative directors, Johan and Marcella Lindeberg, should feel unconstrained to push further out into the fashion sea.