On a drafty pier on the Hudson, heat lamps dangling from the rafters for warmth as much as set decoration, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright sent out their latest collection that was a worthy romp in the English countryside by way of India.
“Think about a country house and all the things you might find in it,” said Wainright backstage. There were the floral tapestries from the library cut into collared jackets and jodhpurs, and striped blankets and riding gear nicked from the stables that were transformed into a lust-worthy trenchcoat with sharp leather shoulders. Rich metallic fabrics were made into sharp pantsuits, or threaded into a knockout ikat sweater dress, then belted — as almost everything was — and paired with their covetable ankle boots or heeled loafers. “The real challenge was how many different elements we had,” noted Neville, “and combining them all in a way that looked great but also made sense for the brand.” Referring, of course, to the pile-it-on mentality that’s become almost as much a Rag & Bone signature as the precise and detailed tailoring on which the duo built their label. The layering, it must be noted, has evolved into a controlled, ubersophisticated process, and worked especially well, thanks to the multitude of draping and wrapping that softened the harder edges of the dark palette and leather accents throughout, and also presented an off-kilter hemline that felt as fresh as the cold breezes seeping through the cracks of the warehouse.
Earlier in the day, the designers sent out an authoritative men’s collection heavy on military themes — sweeping tweed officer’s coats with shearling collars and herringbone cavalry pants tucked into leather boots. An elegant riff on an ikat paisley pattern looked like camouflage on sport coats and trousers, while dégradé fabrics added sophistication to herringbone blazers and wool chinos. Outerwear was particularly strong, especially lush overcoats in broad blanket stripes. Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville took a less rugged path this season, with plentiful waistcoats and pocket-watch chains, giving the show an almost Edwardian elegance.