With their loose braids and bleached brows, and clothes that mixed Inuit costume, traditional tartans, and seventies skiing uniforms, the models on the Rag & Bone runway could've been members of some futuristic tribe, striding along in ribbed leggings and boots with spats to the beat of Thom Yorke's soundtrack. Like last season and the one before that, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright really went for it today. But it's not just the arctic winter we've been experiencing here in New York that made the densely layered and patchworked, more-is-definitely-more aesthetic of the collection look so right.
First there was their bold color sense. The show opened with a passage of icy whites and gray, but soon the designers were juxtaposing a vivid sea blue with rusty orange in color-blocked pieces like an apron dress, a toggle coat, and sporty knits. Then there's their habit of rehabbing the fairly conventional—a varsity jacket, a kilt, or a tweed poncho shot through with neon brights—into something genuinely covetable. Some saw shades of Balenciaga in the collection, but many others were won over by the confidence that has a pair of Brits best known for their denim just a few years ago now pairing Prince of Wales check with oversize tartan, or stripes with a delicate mask print.
Back, for a moment, to the subject of extreme cold. If there's one thing that could make the idea of another winter as harsh as this one a little less bleak, it's Neville and Wainwright's show-opening gray and burgundy cowhide and leather coat with the furry ivory sleeves. Sold.