Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, J Crew.
Several brands use their American heritage not only as currency, but also as their over-riding shtick.
It’s a clever move emulated by labels the world over (not a season goes by without a fashion house from Paris, London or Milan showing an Americana-inspired collection). Jeans, tees and leather jackets sell, after all.
Another brand with an overarching American vibe is Rag & Bone.
Founded in New York just over a decade ago, the label has become the go to for fashion savvy customers looking for high quality denim and understated tailoring with an American edge.
The thing is, Rag & Bone is run by two Brits, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville – which probably explains why the brand’s output – all sharp silhouettes, intricate details and moody shades, feels American, but not too American.
I was in New York earlier this week for Rag and Bone’s Autumn Winter ’14 show, which took place in a warehouse in the city’s Meat Packing district.
Despite the Baltic temperatures (ever felt like you’re having shards of glass jammed into your face?) the crowds were out in force for the show, which featured a runway running the perimeter of the room, the walls of which lit up with images of each look as the models strode past - an impressive technical feat, which did nothing to draw attention away from the clothes.
Inspired by British work wear from the 70s and early 80s with flashes of 50s Americana, the mark of the collection for me was the fact that I wanted to wear pretty much all of it.
From the slightly slouchy yet perfectly fitted single and double breasted suits, which came teamed with scoop neck tees and Fair Isle knits, to sharply tailored single breasted overcoats made from barathea and thornproof Abraham Moon fabrics, to chunky cable knit Arran sweaters, it was difficult to fault.
The key to the collection’s success, however, was in the attention to detail. Clever, angular lapels on jackets helped turned otherwise basic garments into something quite special, while the drop crotches on sumptuous fine wool trousers felt modern and surprisingly wearable.
Rag and Bone’s Autumn Winter ’14 collection is well worth your attention and will be available from the brand’s flagship store on Sloane Street later this year.