David Neville and Marcus Wainwright continue to put down roots here in NYCthe design partners opened their first-ever Rag & Bone store on Christopher Street earlier this weekbut for Spring it was their native England that captured the designers' imaginations. Specifically, they took their cues from their birthplace's musical subculturespunk, mod, ska, etc.and the uniforms associated with each. On the men's side, it translated quite literally; there were exposed zippers, braces, and precisely cuffed pants. On the women's side, it informed a silhouette: fitted jackets and checked button-downs with matching narrow ties, worn over stovepipe pants tapering to a tight ankle above stacked heels. It also spiked the mood: tough and rough around the edges, thanks to studded cuffs and belts and stringy hair, not to mention the dangerously short hemlines on miniskirts and clingy dresses.
There were some great pieces to pull out of the mixtiny washed-leather jackets, one in black, another in caution yellow; a tweedy pantsuit; the carbon-blue jeansbut the show fell short on a couple of fronts. For one, the British music scene is a favorite point of reference for designers, and even if Neville and Wainwright have more of a right than most to explore it, there's bound to be a sense that it's all been done before. More surprisingly, the fit on one or two of their double-breasted jackets looked off. For a more consistent sense of the good work that this duo is capable of, head first to their new store.