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EXCLUSIVE: Rag & Bone Womenswear SS13

Like show soundtracker Thom Yorke, Dazed Digital hung out at the label's pre-catwalk fittings

Once those Rag & Bone x Oakley racer sunglasses came out it was a whole other game. Inspired by the Paris-Dakar Rally, an off-road motor race from France to Senegal, the speed was easy to see in the many layers of this collection. Ripcord, tearaway nylon jackets mixed with cotton stripes and leather trousers melded many different worlds into one swift look. Cracked neon green leather motorcycle jackets brought the palette up to a high frequency and kept it there with bright coral and white, heightening the edge and making the simple blue striped apron dresses seem exotic in their convention. It's amazing to imagine a Lady Racer commanding some powerful vehicle at top speed across an endless desert expanse, her car a hybrid beast that measures both economy and extravagancy. Take the cut of a menswear jacket, the played down layer of a seersucker striped cotton shirt dress, wrap a leather skirt around the bottom and top it off with a sharp pair of neon Blade Runner sunglasses. You've got a winner on your hands. We spoke to Marcus Wainright and David Neville about it all.

Dazed Digital: What are some of the themes or inspirations behind this collection?
Marcus Wainright: 
The Paris Dakar Rally, a rally with race cars and trucks and bikes. The idea is a motorsport thing against the desert Bedouin tribesmen clashing. That's where the hardness of the military and biker thing against the soft white and billowy Bedouin lightweight fabric thing came from. I think that's a signature of our general inspiration for the brand when we're designing collections; it's all about the clash between hard and soft and uptown and downtown. That's effectively the way girls dress in New York, the way our girl dresses. They're not all done up and our girl is not necessarily all feminine either, but sometimes she is. I think that balance between the two is what we try to get out of the show.

DD: Do women participate in the Paris Dakar Rally?
Marcus Wainright:
 I think they have. It's brutal yeah but it looks amazingly fun, flying through the dunes in beach buggies.