Rag & Bone's Belted Prints, Leather, And Layers

Can you imagine the kind of day that Rag & Bone co-designer Marcus Wainwright had? Two shows (for ladies and gents) AND his wife gave birth this morning. I know I'm supposed to be waxing rhapsodic about the looks (and I will shortly because I loved them) but just wrap your head around that. He's probably seeing laser auras right now because he's so zonked.

Not that the collection betrayed the slightest hint of fatigue. Wainwright and co-designer David Neville turned out a thoughtful and sumptuous collection laden with fashion nerd details galore. There were leather panels, blanket prints, skirts over ribbed leggings, stripes, nubby tweeds, and a grip of blazers. Each ensemble was a study in delightfully unpredictable layering technique and most of the looks were belted, with the anchor of a leather horizon manipulating the contours and complementing the prints. Basically, the belts were like The Dude's rug--they really tied the looks together. The music featured dubstep and was again provided by Thom Yorke.


A model walks the runway at the Rag & Bone Autumn Winter 2012 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2012 in New York City.
Photo: Getty Images

Yo. Herringbone ombre where the gradient ends in the black band of a turtleneck and a dark patch of fur on one shoulder? Gorgeous. Also, the addition of a long scarf that draws the eye back down to the tissue-thin pants that are printed with arrows that point inward on each leg, thereby creating a larger chevron that echoes the herringbone? So many treats. Then, there were ornate brocades rendered less fusty-froufrou by clean leather panels, and asymmetrical, leather-collared, striped tweed jackets over fur paneled dressed over silken jodhpurs.

All tolled though, one of my favorites has to be the ensemble where a chunky, grey sweater was worn under a navajo blanket-ish long coat with a cropped, sleeveless almost motorcycle-jacket-looking vest OVER THAT. Part of the charm of the collection is how the designers continuously flex this notion that all of these seemingly disparate articles can be matched seamlessly and in infinite permutations because someone has done all the thinking for you... Provided you have that magic belt.


A model walks the runway at the Rag & Bone Autumn Winter 2012 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2012 in New York City.
Photo: Getty Images

One of my favorite tricks by far and one we've seen before but may have forgotten about is belting a shawl, blanket, or cape. I realize the middle example is not in fact a blanket like the other two but I wanted to illustrate the nifty complement of a trompe l'oiel variation on a theme where the two striped, leather-trimmed shawls behave like the leather coat with a gigantic popped collar where the jacket front evokes a really long, heavy scarf. I think it's neat that it takes up the same idea of space.

And while we have to at least mention the five tidy buttons on each leg of the trousers because they are lovely, let's study these perfect, sturdy ankle boots with varied uppers displayed throughout. SO GOOD. Another note that I enjoyed was the gloves and the turtlenecks/high collars. Holy sister-wife-in-a-burka, have you ever seen a completely covered-up woman look more powerful and sexy? There's something decidedly True Grit about the entire collection. It smacks of poise and ladies who are about their business and also maybe enthusiastic and capable equestrians. Bully for them all.

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