Rag & Bone
February 09, 2012 New York
The worn-out olde-worldiness in all of those ideas is so overpowering that it's to Neville and Wainwright's credit—kudos to the skill of their stylist too—that they managed to spin a contemporary yarn from their source material, helped in no small degree by Thom Yorke's pulsating soundtrack and a filmic backdrop that offered an abstract digital dissection of the Rag & Bone logo. Or maybe the yarn wasn't so much contemporary as it was a romantic take on urban style, incorporating military tradition, workingman's wear, ethnic influences, and hardy frontier clothes into a single multilayered entity. The anchor was spectacular outerwear, from the shearling-collar herringbone coat that opened the show to the sleek melton topcoat that closed it, but the collection's more idiosyncratic charms could be found in the ikat-pattern items and cable knits.
It might seem banal at this point to bring up Neville and Wainwright's status as Englishmen in New York, but the outsider's eye is an invaluable asset in design. The burgeoning magpie splendor of Rag & Bone's men's collections is a testament to that fact. Their womenswear? Another story altogether, for another teller.