Since the inception of their brand in 2002, there are a few things we have come to expect from the British-born designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. We expect a line that is wearable. We expect silhouettes that are clean. We expect a quality level of construction. These are the elements that have made Rag & Bone popular with the under-30 generation of upwardly mobiles. Where one once saw Burberry suits in junior offices, one now is just as likely to see Rag & Bone on the young woman headed for the front office.
Given that background, today’s spring/summer 2014 presentation hit every mark with precision. S0 well did the duo meet expectations that the event almost came off as being a bit … well … boring. Listening to the conversations in the audience, there were more people talking about the four-inch platform shoes on half the models, and the matte orange lip color rather than the clothes themselves.
Not that there is anything wrong with the styles. They’re all lovely. Leather purses with extra-long over-the-shoulder straps, criquet-esque sweaters with deep V plunges, impeccably tailored shirt dresses, and bare midriffs under leather jackets and vests are are lovely. Separate pieces just beg to be interchanged with each other. Minimalist, clean and contemporary, there’s not a single look in the collection that doesn’t work from Manhattan to the Midwest.
The color palette was simple enough: plenty of white, decent showing of black, a robin’s-egg blue, a single dab of peach, and a muted purple was easy on the eyes and especially makes the separates valuable wardrobe pieces.
Yet, there’s this lingering feeling that we’ve rather seen it all before. There is nothing to make one gasp in surprise, or perhaps more importantly, reach desperately for a credit card.
Don’t get me wrong; this is an absolutely wonderful collection and is well worth your consideration. I just worry that perhaps the guys have gotten a little too comfortable with the tight nest they’ve built for themselves. Maybe the time has come to stretch the brand a bit.