With all the emphasis that comes on glitz and glamour during New York Fashion Week, it’s nice to come across a runway presentation that takes a step back and gives one time to actually breathe. That’s what Rag & Bone did Monday evening. Coming at the end of a long day when our eyes were already tired, a collection that didn’t push it too much, that was practical, wearable, and actually made sense was a welcome relief.

Only some low plunging necklines and very high pleated shorts gave any hints of sexiness. This is a collection built around being comfortable, clothes that make sense for the season. To that end, designers Marcus Wainright and David Neville have used natural fibers all the way through (a great deal of breathable cotton) and utilized silhouettes that give the clothes space to catch air and keep warmth in when one needs it and out when one doesn’t. That’s not saying the clothes are boxy. There’s still very well considered tailoring. I don’t think there’s a shoulder pad anywhere in the set. Looks are long and full, but still manage to be feminine.

Neutral colors abound, mostly solids in blue, white, black, and tan, with one deconstructed leaf print that sort of has a military feel to it, but not overly so. Even the whites are subdued in a collection that almost goes out of its way to be subtle and quiet.

There are plenty of jackets in this collection, the kind that work well in the unpredictable weather that often comes in spring. Draw strings give the impression of functionality, though, in the event of severe weather one might want something a bit stronger. Speaking of strings, there are trailing ribbons on several of the pieces invoking a sense of motion, which is interesting considering that, for the most part this is a collection that screams for the wearer to relax.

Various ways of carrying things has been a quiet emphasis this season, one of those things that hasn’t really stood out, but has been interestingly different in several collections. Here, we see some bags slouched over shoulders, almost like duffle bags, and, most interesting, smaller pouches worn right at the center of the breast plate, much higher than normal. The looks are interesting, but only time will tell whether these more subtle touches will resonate with shoppers.

Rag & Bone is a collection that the practical person is going to want filling their closet and drawer space. These are the clothes of every day, the good days, when one can enjoy the seasons and sit quietly watching the sun set on the horizon. Midst all the hype and hysteria, we need these clothes.

Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos

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