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Rag & Bone: Fashion designer interview
Marcus Wainwright and David Neville have been clothing the cool crowd since they launched Rag & Bone back in 2002, creating a covetable new category of mid-range New York style steeped in refined tailoring, cozy knits and sportif accents. Their “Newbury” ankle boot—knocked off from here to eternity and worn by Gwyneth, Sienna and Katie—is as perfect a representation of that accessory as strawberry shortcake is of dessert. (“It has become almost a uniform,” muses Neville. “Skinny jeans and a Newbury boot.”) The fall/winter 2013 Rag & Bone collection, which translated its aviation inspiration into quilted leather pants and oversized houndstooth sweaters, was the duo’s best yet, earning them critical acclaim and “vendor of the year” honours from Holt Renfrew. Here, Wainwright and Neville talk fall fashion, fast fashion and their next It piece.
Q: Aviation inspired your fall/winter 2013 collection. What do you find fascinating about it?
A: “Air travel used to be way more glamorous— there were waiters and lounges where you could smoke. It was like being in a sitting room. We wanted it to hearken back to the days of Jackie O and Chanel. The starting point was aviation and its uniforms, from vintage military to Pan Am air stewardesses to more modern flight vests.”
Fall/winter 2013 FASHION TREND REPORT
Q: How has the Rag & Bone woman evolved since you launched the line?
A: “She now has access to a raft of brands that offer the same level of quality and fashion. She has also become a lot more savvy. Before, you’d have to wait six months to buy whatever was on the runway, but fashion has become a lot quicker. People have changed the way they dress as a result.”
Q: How do you feel about that?
A: “It’s just the way it is—we have to constantly adapt to it and learn from it. Fashion is about having timeless pieces of clothing that you invest in and cherish and wear for a lifetime. I don’t know if the speed is actually exciting, though. I think there’s an immense amount of beauty in the old way of thinking about clothes and information, taking a bit more time to slow down, relax and enjoy fashion.”
Q: What are you excited about for fall?
A: “The handbag is the next evolution for us in the world of accessories. We launched the “Pilot” bag last fall, exclusively with Holts in Canada. It has good attitude and cool military references inspired by the bags that fighter pilots carried their helmets in. It’s very ladylike and laid-back, all at the same time.”