Rag & Bone Looks to Old British Empire and India for Fall 2012

For fall, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville refocused their collection on what they already do well: bold outerwear and statement-making knits.

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For David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, Fall '12 began with "the idea of the British Empire" and the multiplicity of cultures it came to include during its heydey. "In particular, India," said a beaming Wainwright -- who also welcomed a new baby girl early yesterday morning. "The influence it had on the British, and vice-versa."
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While the inspiration may not have read so literally on the catwalk, it was nonetheless a strong showing for the New York-based label, which seems to have refocused on its original message for the coming season with a focus on layered knits paired with more structured tailoring (as opposed to recent seasons in which the duo explored a sportier aesthetic).
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Executed primarily in tonal shades of gray, black, and white, the new fall dresses -- another strong category for the brand -- had a more retrained appeal than shorter, flashier varieties of seasons past. This kimono-like wrap dress in particular felt like a totally fresh silhouette for the R&B girl.
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While notable new shapes were introduced, brand devotees will be pleased to see that brand signatures like this leather-buckled wrap skirt will return for fall.
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Heavy, statement-making outerwear was especially note-worthy, and lent some extra color to Rag & Bone's otherwise somber fall palette. A range of wool coats finished with long, shaggy fur collars are sure to be retail favorites come next winter.
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As is often the case on a Rag & Bone runway, totally dissimilar prints and materials were paired in a quirky way that still managed to come together convincingly. This wrap blanket skirt and ombre wool tuxedo coat is one such unlikely (but cool) combination.
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While print-mixing has been an important trend on and off the runway for the past year, it hasn't generally played a big part in Rag & Bone's collections. That changed for fall, with expertly paired print motifs featuring everything from stripes and chevrons to arrows and feathers.
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Strong stripes like the one on this cozy blanket coat were scattered throughout the collection, including on the brand's debut collection of handbags (inspired by infantry helmet satchels).
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While we appreciated the few metallic and rust-colored pieces that were included in the collection for their textural variety, we weren't convinced that these amber-colored suit separates meshed with the rest of the line-up.
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Perhaps few more splashes of bright British red like this wrapped blanket shawl would have helped communicate the designers' English inspiration more effectively.
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