From the get-go, Rag & Bone has held classic English tailoring as its guiding principle. David Neville and Marcus Wainwright are not the first designers to co-opt that notion as their creed, but they are among the few who have managed to remain loyal to a narrow design tenet while consistently drawing out something new and genuine, as they did for fall. It was a fantastic collection — sleek, modern and sexy. “We started with flight, aviation, Pan Am uniforms,” Wainwright said backstage before the show. “We wanted to start with something very clean, and then it quickly evolved from the minimal to much more modern military aviation.” He went on to mention Pan Am blue — used savvily and sparely on, for example, the collar of a V-neck sweater — and the airline’s vintage stewardess uniform, which inspired the “ultra-minis” and modish shift dresses worn over great ribbed knits. To be clear, no one looked like anything resembling a flight attendant, which is a great thing.
Color was key: orange, purple, the aforementioned blue and a lighter mineral green, all culled from the required uniforms of various flight crews. It was broken up by and balanced against basic olive green and black. The Savile Row tailoring and military references took form in terrific outerwear and jackets — meltons, peacoats and parkas, most of which were oversize in cool contradiction to the microscopic skirts, which came in satin and quilted leather. There was an homage to the Rue Cambon going on too, with squarish jackets in robust rubberized tweeds. By working in rubber, leather, satin and nylon, Neville and Wainwright heightened the sporty edge that felt spot-on for the contemporary Rag & Bone demo, though this collection looked very luxurious. As it turns out, the two family men from England who started in men¹s wear have a real handle on what their women want.