Rag & Bone Womenswear A/W12

Tough talk and Thom Yorke from David Neville and Marcus Wainright

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Rag & Bone Women's was a warzone. The flood lights dropped out and yellow flashing emergency sirens began blaring out a warning signal – until a soundtrack by Thom Yorke hit so loud the bass shook you through your feet. It would seem a fitting take for a collection based around British Imperialism and the cultural exchange between the countries they've colonised. What is historically a forceful union of old world and new, designers David Neville and Marcus Wainright used the topic to explore the aesthetic influences of this time period and their contemporary place within their brand.

The flood lights dropped out and yellow flashing emergency sirens began blaring out a warning signal – until a soundtrack by Thom Yorke hit so loud the bass shook you through your feet

They talked backstage about a trip to India that inspired their textile choices throughout their collection; blending ikat, floral jacquard, eyelet lace and paisley prints into traditional English clothing and vice versa with British wools and the Indian silhouette. Balancing everything out, though, were dramatically modern leather epaulette accessories; single slab pieces slung around the neck or giant extended shoulder platforms on bags. "These were a straight Storm Troopers inspiration," said Wainright. "That just seemed like an obvious thing to do." It made sense, marching past you on the runway while every cell in your body vibrated with the beat. What churned the wheel of Britain's Empire was progress and industry, and in this case meets a handbag meets Empire Strikes Back.

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