- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville certainly know how to warm up an audience: With hot cider, hot chocolate, and mini-cinnamon doughnuts, fried up on the spot.

That’s what awaited the crowd at Rag & Bone’s runway show Friday, in the chilly, cavernous space of a now-defunct section of Manhattan’s main post office.

But the way to a fashion consumer’s heart Is not through the stomach - well, not ONLY through the stomach. Also the eyes. Rag & Bone has become a top fashion label - with its runway show considered a must-see every season - because it has come up with a distinctive way of expressing casual chic.

In the words of supermodel Karolina Kurkova, who came to the show not to walk the runway but simply to watch: “Rag & Bone is great for running around, but (also) having a little bit of style - being comfortable, being cool, but you know still having a little bit of modern action.”

Wainwright and Neville described the inspiration for this latest collection as an eclectic mix of eras and styles.

“There’s a new mood and theme every time,” Wainwright said in an interview before the show. “There’s quite a strong ‘50s silhouette going on with the high-waisted pants, short tops. But also there’s an ‘80s English feel. This one is really quintessential Rag & Bone.”

The fabrics were rich, as in a buffalo-check mohair coat or a casual jacket in satin crepe. Echoing the ‘50s theme, there were bowling shirts - albeit in lush fabrics - embroidered with the model’s name in the corner. There was plenty of black and other dark colors, but also a few shocks of red: a bright red suede dress, for example, or a pair of slouchy red boots with a drawstring top.

In the front row, there was a fashion writer named Joe Jonas; yes, the very same Jonas brother, writing during Fashion Week for New York Magazine’s fashion site, The Cut.

“They asked me to give my opinions on what I like and stuff, so it’s been a lot of fun,” he said in an interview.


AP writer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.

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