Were the digital images of gridded boxes coded with hard-to-decipher labels (C143, H143, etc.) a clue to Rag & Bone‘s Fall collection? They were projected wall-sized on the West Chelsea venue where the brand hosted its Fall ’14 menswear show, during a few days in New York that is starting to look, thanks to presentations from Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, as well as from R&B, like a fledgling New York menswear week of sorts. The screens served in a way as a self-diagnostic test for the spectators. The PR people saw seating charts; this reviewer saw a bingo card (analyze that, doctors). But it was hard to connect any hypothesis to the show once it began.
The collection for Fall took R&B a distance from the military-inflected one they showed for Spring and closer to their heritage of English tailoring and workwear. “I’m getting a little nostalgic at the moment,” Marcus Wainwright said. “If you look at our first-ever two shows, they were a lot like this.” He and David Neville showed a mix of tailored pieces with hardy staples: suits with tees or knits rather than collared shirts, accessorized hooded anoraks worn over pleated pants, and plenty of rugged work boots. There was a fifties flavor to the proportion, with it shorter shorts and higher-waist trousers, but the cut was modern: drop-crotched, carrot-shaped for the pants, with articulated seams borrowed from performancewear.