Backstage, David Neville said, "It's a pivotal moment for us; it's our first women's show." To be clear, Neville and his partner, Marcus Wainwright, have been designing for women since 2005, but today was the first time the ambitious duo presented the collection on its own—away from their menswear. Maybe it's just coincidence, but it was their strongest effort to date, long on their cool, classic separates; accessorized to the hilt; and full of attitude. They took their inspiration, they explained, from the "crazy English guys who climbed Mount Everest in the twenties in tweed." Up first was a snug gray waistcoat worn over a blue plaid shirt and a densely knit mini kilt. From the model's belt hung three miniature pouches about the right size for an iPhone, a BlackBerry, and a stack of credit cards. The Himalayas by way of the U.K. may've been their starting point, but Neville and Wainwright are nothing if not New Yorkers now, and they know their downtown customer.
What'll she be wearing next fall? A green Harris Tweed jacket over a hoodie cardigan and cuffed shorts, or a sweater dress with a white shirtdress, trailing a long scarf and a catch-me-if-you-can air in her wake. For outerwear, it'll be a camouflage anorak, a patchwork plaid poncho, or a waterproof parka with a fur-trimmed hood—Neville and Wainwright are as interested in technical fabrics as ever. As for those accessories, they included (but weren't limited to) bolo ties, backpacks, knit sacks, legwarmers, stack-heel hiking boots, and more of those urban-girl must-have scarves. These two are in peak form.