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Rag & Bone show: From Brit roots to Asia

Rag & Bone designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright put their cool, modern twist on clothes that are classic in the truest sense of the word for their fall collection that debuted Friday at New York Fashion Week.

The British-born designers started with English mainstays, including tweeds, tails and jackets fit for military officers. But a recent trip to India also got them thinking about former British colonies and the traditional dress in those mostly Asian places, they explained backstage before the show.

"We looked at the British Empire and the influence of British culture there," Neville said. Then they saw a reciprocal relationship and how those faraway lands have moved into European fashion, too, he said.

On the runway that meant folded skirts — a particularly nice one done in walnut-colored leather — that was paired with a polo-neck T-shirt and a high-neck, below-the-hip raj jacket, and draped, low-slung dhoti pants with a striped wool biker tailcoat.

The tapestry-style brocade outfits, jazzed up with flashes of silver and copper, were dressier than garments the crowd of stylists, editors and retailers might be used to seeing from Rag & Bone but the silhouettes were in keeping with the theme. The most tempting looks in the chilly, raw space along the Hudson River were the cozy belted blanket coats and wraps.

Backstage had a much warmer feeling, with the designers' young children running around, moving between the models, makeup artists and hairstylists. Wainwright also showed to a select few — including his sons — photos of his new daughter, born Friday morning before he rushed off to do two fashion shows.

"My wife is very understanding," he said.


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