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Rag & Bone likes to break the rules sometimes.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
So Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, the duo behind the label, showed their men’s wear before the official kickoff of New York Fashion Week and chose to shake up the routine of a typical fashion show.
“Everyone does it [runways shows] and it’s not interesting,” Wainwright said backstage before the show Tuesday night. “We wanted do something different.”
That something different translated into a “visual installation” created by United Visual Artists, a company known for its creative installations and live performances in music, fashion and art. The installation for Rag & Bone employed the work of four photographers who captured images of the models wearing their runway looks in various locations around the city over two days prior to the show. The images were projected behind the models as they walked a long runway at a location on West 22nd Street.
“We wanted to show the guys in a concept other than the runway while they were on the runway,” Neville said. “We wanted to spin the concept on its head.” So during the fitting process, the models were captured on video and through still photographs getting dressed, walking or hanging out on the street, adjusting their clothes, etc. “It helps the clothes become real,” he continued. “And we think it feels pretty fresh and that we struck a nice chord.”
Wainwright said that showing the clothes in that manner also allowed the brand to visually illustrate that its collection is “about clothes that people will wear.”
The offering the duo presented included an assortment of men’s staples, all designed to stand on their own. “It’s a very distilled down version of what we’ve done in the past,” Wainwright said, noting that the collection offered “quintessential men’s wear pieces” such as plain white T-shirts, biker jackets, military coats, bowling shirts, trenchcoats, Irish Aran sweaters and English country-gentleman blazers. “We’re not inspired by archives but what real guys wear,” Wainwright said.
“It’s very working-class American and English,” he added, “and total Rag & Bone.” Both designers are from the U.K.
“American can be quite preppy and occasionally one-note so we always have English tailoring,” Wainwright explained.
Other references to the “blue-collar working-class man” included a tailored wool pinstripe suit with tapered drop-crotch pants shown with a Fair Isle sweater underneath and no tie. “It’s the way guys in a gentleman’s club in England would dress,” Wainwright said.
Other standouts included a buffalo check printed melton and an American military camo jacket made from authentic Crye Precision fabric along with a robelike coat in Harris tweed. “You’ve got to push the ideas, but not necessarily put them [the customers] in a dress,” Wainwright said.
Men’s wear staples or not, the collection is full of directional ideas and is very on trend with the season.