Who Wear What When

Spring Training Day 7

Rag & Bone, up close and personal on Wednesday night

March 17, 2009

Leave it to fashion to come up with such a great twist: Brits Marcus Wainwright and David Neville had to come to America—Kentucky, more specifically—and hunt out a nearly abandoned jeans factory to launch their own denim-based line, Rag & Bone. In doing so, the untrained yet visionary designers got a bunch of skilled American denim workers back to work, and began to reestablish the generations-old blue jean tradition in America.

Doesn’t it make you want to pull on a pair of old overalls? No? Guess it’s just me.

The Rag & Bone look is far more tailored than that short intro might lead the uninitiated to believe. Since the label officially began showing in 2004—their men’s line debuted the name and the look—Rag & Bone has been driving the sophisticated-but-street, preppy-for-the-rock-club, menswear-for-women look — see Kate Moss in a threadbare tee under a pin-stripped, slim-fitting vest and Gossip Girls in super-chic shrunken leather jackets, button-down collars, stovepipe pants, and mini minis.

Now, if you’re wondering about the whole home-grown thing that I’m always on about, yes, we’re claiming Rag & Bone as our own. Wainwright and Neville are based in NYC, and c’mon, with the denim fabrication done here in America (while even Levi’s outsources theirs), in resuscitated deep south denim factories no less, there’s no need to discuss this further.

Should you have any doubts that these Brits are worth your U.S. dollars, block out your after-work hours on Wednesday, as in, tomorrow, and meet them, and me, at Via C on the second floor of the downtown Nordstrom. They’ll be there from 5 to 7p, as will pieces from their spring’s collection, wherein the lads went ’80s ska. Cue the English Beat and start thinking about skinny ties, high-waters, and suit jackets both washed and tiny and slick and slightly oversized.

And just so things don’t start feeling one-note — or maybe just to assert the girly side of the menswear look and continue their reputation as the kings of rock-chic fit and modern, easy-to-wear tailoring — a one-shoulder bandage dress or two.

(A tangent on the whole one-shoulder and exposed-shoulder and cut-out shoulder et al thing: It came up last year for spring and I loved it, including the Madina Vadache dress in our editorial, but man, it came back stronger and sexier for fall and I, for one, couldn’t be more into it. Ladies: your shoulders and collarbones are beautiful. Put ’em out there.)

So yeah. Just another excuse to pull everything you own off the hangers, make a big pile, and come out on top. See you there.

(images taken from style.com)

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