Fashion / Style

Rag & Bone Turns Fashion Into Performance Art Thanks to Unconventional Founder

Who Needs a Boring Runway Show?

BY // 10.04.19

NEW YORK — Having to compete for social media attention and hoping to break through the clutter, just about every designer at New York Fashion Week decided to create an attention-getting extravaganza. For his return to the runway for the first time in three years, Rag & Bone co-founder Marcus Wainwright  joined the crowd and decided to do things in a big way.

Previously, Wainwright had declared that a traditional runway show was a boring event, so he tried new things like a photography exhibition and a dinner party where mimes led guests through a series of rooms to showcase the brand.

To present his spring 2020 collection, he returned to a runway show but it was anything but traditional. He called it “Contrasts & Perspectives,” and enlisted Atoms for Peace drummers Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco to perform, along with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and two modern dancers who tumbled in synch on the circular runway to a piece choreographed by Damien Jalet. A watchful UR10 robot stationed on the catwalk captured the action on a live feed that was broadcast on large screens throughout the venue.

It was premier performance art, with a fashion show as an added attraction.

Unlike most designers, Wainwright said there was no inspiration for his spring 2020 collection. Instead, he just created cool casual clothes for women and men to wear. A lot of it is unisex, so couples of any variety can shop together and even raid each other’s closets.

With the collection,”you can go to Rag & Bone and be anyone you want to be,” he told Vogue.

The collection combines American workwear and English-inspired tailoring, along with some preppy styles. Wainwright livens up the looks with track stripes on suit pants, vests and cargo pants in a bright safety orange color, trench coats and double-breasted in military green fabric with brass buttons, and cigarette pants made of shiny vinyl.

Women’s suits made of menswear fabric opened and closed the show — the first model wore a three-piece navy pinstripe suit with red track strips along the side of the pants and the last model sported a camel-colored pinstripe suit with an elastic waist. Denim jeans with patch decals, cargo pants with track strips, navy blazers worn with blue-and-white striped shirts, and V-neck tennis sweaters also could be a staple for either sex, which could make shopping together a date night option.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On The Runway Spring 2020