Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rag & Bone - Minimalistic Elegance

Rag & Bone has a small studio store off the main drag, in what feels like a back alley.  The location is very fitting for the brand and their style, like a secret in plain sight.

The store, like the clothing is very minimalistic, simple, and uncluttered.  The display racks held one or maybe two examples of each item.  The men’s rack on the left side of the wall the women’s rack on the right; a table sharing accessories dividing the middle of the store.

In the back of the store sat a beautiful antique leather couch and chairs.  This was near the shoes and fitting room.  The store provided a simple, utilitarian design that uses absence of design and lack of flair to make a statement.  The clothing beautifully mimicked that design ethos.  Overall the clothing had plain muted colors, almost monochromatic, raw and untreated.

The clothing had clean lines and a slim fit.  The designs were deconstructed, removing the embellishments of style and leaving only the utilitarian elements.  Anything that will distract from the cut and fit of the garment is edited out of the final garment.  Quite a refreshing & classic design, especially considering the monstrosity Ed Hardy Store is a block away.  Rag & Bone is a refuge from the over indulgent clothing that permeates most stores.

I really enjoyed a few items they had on display, including a great pair of black boots.  They had a round toe, nice plain black leather, well constructed design, leather soles and all embellishments & unique design elements were removed in favor of clean, classic lines.  The elegance was in the minimalistic design.

I also enjoyed a beautiful gray suit.  It had beautiful classic lines with thin lapels and a slim fit cut.  No flaps on the hip pockets or patch pocket on the breast.  The fabric and cut of the jacket do the work in the garment; sometimes that is all that is needed.

I was impressed with the quality, feel and look of the wool garments.  Rag & Bone had wool beanies, sweaters and gloves that all beautifully weaved, with a vintage look.  The wool was almost as soft as the finest cashmere, yet it did not look to be delicate and airy.  The wool obviously was of the highest quality, breathable, strong and amazingly soft.

Rag & Bone certainly moved up my list of designers with a visit to the NYC store and that is the point to a retail location, isn’t it?

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