If you’re a fan of the television series Futurama, you’re well acquainted with the fun one can have with ’70s futurism. This was the decade that included science fiction entertainment as diverse as Star Wars and Mork and Mindy, Star Trek and Soylent Green, A Clockwork Orange and Planet of The Apes. It was a time when visionaries reached for an existence that expanded our imaginations, while simultaneously applying overwrought narrations and really just letting the cheese seep.
If the long leather jackets, big patterns, turtleknecks, and olive palette recalled the decade of Nixon, Ford and Carter during Rag & Bone’s fall 2013 menswear show last night at Skylight Modern, the designers were determined not be stuck there. At the foreground of the stage were several rich-person-refrigerator-sized display systems, which, using high-speed cameras, showed a replay of the model, who had just walked behind them, in slightly blurry but fascinating slow motion. There was an audible gasp from the audience as the first model made his pass, and I asked myself, “Why has no one thought of this before?” The answer soon became clear: While novel and artistically successful, the effect was a bit distracting. Ah well. The dialogue in Star Wars is nothing to write home about either. Big deal.
The designers, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, weren’t relying on their robot tricks too heavily. The collection was ushered forward with trim pants cut short, leather accents, shrunken blazers, and a silhouette that was cleaner and brisker than anything Rag & Bone has presented in recent years. Color, in this collection, is as rare as emotion in a Vulcan, with the designers sticking to olives, browns and icy blues that were dangerously close to drab, but consistent with a coherent and straightforward collection so firmly tied to planet Earth.