The winds of change are a-blowin’ at Rag & Bone. This season the brand took up residence in Marc Jacobs’ old space on the New York fashion calendar, on Monday night at 8 o’clock, a move that affirms Rag men Marcus Wainwright and David Neville’s position as tent poles of the city’s fashion scene. And yet the show they unveiled in their fancy new time slot served both to honor their elevation and subvert it. In comparison to previous outings, this was a conspicuously subdued Rag & Bone show—unshowy in its casting, restrained in its styling, essentially utilitarian in the outlook of its clothes. There was nary a non-neutral color on the runway this evening, and the prints were a black-and-white outline floral, and two riffs on camo. All the fibers were natural. Blazers and military-inspired outerwear were a significant focus. Pretty much the only flourish, really, was the omnipresent dangling straps; they offered a suggestion of movement and things unraveling.
All that makes the collection sound rather snoozy, but it wasn’t. There was nowhere to hide in these clothes, and the details of fit and fabric all counted. The series of looks in elegant indigo-dyed cotton were especially fine, and the surprising standouts were the Japanese terry dresses, specifically the sexy version in cream with a plunging neckline. (Seduction sweats: Who knew that could be a thing?) Meanwhile, the pared-down styling gave the Rag & Bone accessories—a growing part of the brand’s business—an opportunity to shine. Bags were front and center, literally, but it’s the lug-sole sandals, in particular the chunky mules, that will be flying out of stores come springtime. Like all the best stuff in this show, they were short on flash but long on kick.