NEW YORK — The Rag & Bone runway show always draws one of the hippest crowds during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, so it was no surprise that Drew Barrymore, in a floppy hat, was on the front row in her only fashion week appearance.
Who can blame Barrymore or the other cool chicks from flocking to see what designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright are up to now?
For fall, the Rag & Bone duo have created blazers and coats in menswear fabrics with a twist. They feature Prince of Wales fabrics in a purple-and-black pattern in addition to the traditional black-and-white check.
"Menswear influences that had more of a Downton Abbey idea (now) come through with a tomboy attitude," Downing said. "I'm liking that idea of a little bit of toughening of things that are feminine."
At times, the collection feels like a peek into your boyfriend's closet, with houndstooth sweaters, oversized peacoats, haircalf loafers (updated in bright shades of royal blue, mustard and grape) and crisp blazers as a key fall trend.
Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director Ken Downing says the jacket, which emerged last fall as a key wardrobe component is "here stronger than ever" for this fall.
"It has a sharper shoulder, a razor-tailoring to it and it's still inspired by menswear," Downing said. "But menswear influences that had more of a Downton Abbey idea (now) come through with a tomboy attitude. I'm liking that idea of a little bit of toughening of things that are feminine."
Neville and Wainswright also experimented with high tech applications in a pair of black leather quilted pants and rubberized tweed jackets. One jacket, the Coco, pays homage to Chanel in the cut and style — only with rubberized fabric. The effect is playful yet modern.
The designers, who are known to be fascinated with air travel (the invitation looked like a baggage tag), also served up short quilted flight skirts and sweatshirts based on Pam Am flight attendant uniforms. Their interpretation was so loose that I didn't see much connection to air travel, but the collection soared nevertheless.