NEW YORK, United States — Rag & Bone's designer-cum-CEO Marcus Wainright says not staging a fashion show — which he swore off a few seasons ago — changes the way a collection is built. Gone is the need to drive home a drive a singular message. "To illustrate what you stand for can be difficult with a runway show — to tell the eclectic story of Rag & Bone,” he said at a walk-through at the label's Meatpacking District showroom.
This also changes the way a collection is evaluated. Instead of considering whether a designer is succeeding at selling a dream, it's much more about whether he is capable of selling a product. After all, the collection on display is the very one that will arrive in stores this autumn.
Did Wainright succeed at making clothes his customer will want to buy? He certainly thought a lot about how she moves and lives, tapping dancer Emma Portner for the season's look book to show how those fly-away track pants with sailor-button details, artfully gathered silk shirt dresses and crushed-velvet suits look in motion. Individual pieces, like a sharp navy peacoat and a fisherman's net layering top, popped. But overall, the collection didn't sizzle the way great product must in this unforgiving market. Not staging a runway show may change the stakes, but they're still quite high.