Rag & Bone has staged a runway show every season since launching its women’s collection in 2005, but for fall, designer Marcus Wainwright opted for something a little different. On Thursday night, the brand will host a party and photography exhibition featuring 70 people — a few models, but mostly friends, including Rag & Bone’s first-ever employee — wearing looks from the collection styled their own way. “It was about different personalities putting things together in different ways,” Wainwright said. “A runway show felt a little redundant, a little tone-deaf at the moment.”
Wainwright cited a mix of Japanese and English influences this season, particularly in terms of fabrics, with custom tweeds made at his favorite mill — Linton Tweeds in Carlisle, England — as well as terry, denim and twill sourced in Japan. Wainwright’s outerwear was a knockout this season, all of it cut in boyish, oversize silhouettes, as in a red plaid wool jacket with a white shearling collar or a camouflage parka with a generous hood, which riffed on styles worn by the British Special Forces. Hand-knit sweaters featured intricate, textural weaves, pairing well with Wainwright’s camel leather skinnies. “It was an exploration of authenticity and quality and timeless clothes for guys and girls,” he said.
For the men’s collection, Wainwright relied heavily on Rag & Bone classics that have helped define the brand for more than a decade. His cool, downtown guy favors functionality over fashion, which Wainwright delivered in an English version of a field jacket featuring a creative camouflage pattern; a camel-hair coat inspired by his grandfather’s hunting jacket; a Norwegian fisherman’s sweater in a slightly boxy silhouette, and cozy, thick jersey sweatpants with a zip fly for more of a trouser feel. “We’re making no attempt to create a run of show or a linear concept,” he said. “But we’re designing for people who come in and pick what they want.”
All fine and good, but encouraging his man to take a little more fashion risk would have been welcome.