To the ‘Bone’

Rag & Bone Spring 2013 Collection

David Neville and Marcus

Wainwright of Rag & Bone have truly come into their own. The label defines what great American sportswear is all about. They stay true to themselves, to their roots, to their aesthetics, and always play into their strengths. They are not trying to be European trendy, and are never fussy or over the top. They have a verifiable identity.

Rag & Bone Spring 2013 Collection

Their spring 2013 collection, shown on Friday night was spot on in terms of proportion (a bit easy if not oversized) and the models looked healthy and happy, not anorexic and uncomfortable. It had a very sporty vibe but remained tailored (they cut the best jacket around, and their outerwear is always stellar). Layering was key, (and it was very well done), and the color palette was perfection, with just enough brights to offset the neutrals, black and white. It was graphic (think motorcross and racing stripes) and pattern mixes (menswear inspired) did not look forced but believable.

Cut (it) Out

Cushnie et Ochs Black Power Viscose Jersey Floating Belt crop top and pencil skirt

Don’t get me wrong. I love prints and I love mixing prints. They, like everything else, have their time and place, AND their moment. And boy, do they ever have their moment! But, as often happens with fashion, overload sets in and quickly spoils everything (a good argument for not chasing trends). How much would you like to bet that Miuccia Prada will not have ONE print in her upcoming spring 2013 collection? Or that Marc Jacobs will be favoring a sleek, maybe mod silhouette, sans cartooney over-sized pins and over-sized Pilgrim buckles? (Okay, maybe I don’t want to bet my life on it but you get the point).

Cushnie et Ochs Blue Violet Satin Kapok Frame Cut Out Dress

In any case, that is perhaps why, right now, pared down, sleek, beautifully fitted clothes in solid colors, looks so fresh and appealing. Which also explains the appeal of Cushnie et Ochs, shown yesterday afternoon, at the Milk Studios. It was short, sweet, well edited, and to the point. Out of the 30 pieces, there was nary a print or pattern in sight. It began with white (White Power is what they called it), segued to aqua, blue violet, and ended with black: sort of a reverse way of doing things. The silhouette was fitted and so close to the body, it was second skin (think scuba).

In fact, there was a decidedly scuba vibe, and an athletic, sporty feeling throughout, as though the recent summer Olympics, and the fit bodies on display, were an inspiration. It should also be noted, that both Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, in great shape themselves, are their own best models.

Cushnie et Ochs White Power Viscose Jersey Floating Belt Dress

Other than a few pencil skirts, and several arrestingly revealing bikinis, it was really all about the dress, which was given names like Floating Belt, Double Triangle Twisted Knot, Twisted Wrap, Floating Beatle, Sheath, Falling Cowl, Kapok Frame Cut Out, and Cut Out Scuba. Fabrics included viscose and silk jersey, silk crepe, silk georgette, silk chiffon, organza, and leather. While they may have been modest in terms of length (everything was just below the knee), there was a decided sexiness thanks not only to the fit, but the strategically placed, graphic cut outs, AND the use of harnesses, which were also seen at Max Azria BCBG. At times, it was hard not to notice a naughty, slightly bondage, S&M feeling. I know everyone is talking about the good girl vs. bad girl “thing”. Could it really be that the blockbuster trilogy, “50 Shades of Grey” has had more than a passing impact on fashion?

Got ‘Milk’?

By the way, the Milk Studios, located at 450 West 15th street, where the Cushnie et Ochs show was held, have morphed into a major off site venue for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. It is the venue of choice for a large group of designers including Sophie Theallet, Jeremy Scott, Suno, Peter Som, Alexander Plokhov, Patrik Ervell, Carlos Campos, Calla, and Alexander Herchcovitch. While it is geographically out of the way in relation to Lincoln Center, and very far west, it is hardly Siberia. After all, it’s smack dab in the middle of the hip and trendy Meatpacking District, across the street from the bustling Chelsea Market, almost next door to Jeffrey New York and countless designer shops and great restaurants, and a stone’s throw away from The High-line. It’s so happening, they’ve even set up a Kiosk selling major fashion publications right next to it.

-Marilyn Kirschner

THE DAILY BET – by Rhonda Erb

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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