The Fall 2014 collection by Ruffian was presented at the Pavilion at Lincoln Center on Feb 8. The theme for this collection was Rapture, where the designers explored monastic opulence, tailored volume and sober religious silhouettes – with lavish sumptuousness. The atmosphere for the show was set up with the Pavilion benches in long groupings, making four rows for the runway, and chanting monks in the background during arrival giving the semblance of choir seating in a Middle Ages Cathedral.
The color pallet for the collection was primarily black with pops of red, chartreuse and Wedgewood blue with the opening look being a high-collared demi-bow blouse in ivory silk crepe de chine with a black silk organza Hanbok skirt. This was topped with a Bishop bomber in silk duchess satin in a digital print unicorn collage that resembled an enlarged version of the unicorn tapestries found at The Cloisters.
The models had what MAC makeup artist, James Kaliardos, describes as full-on make up with a dark eye, deep red lips and well defined cheeks. The hair by Nick Irwin for Catwalk by Tigi was swept back from the face and worn straight with a lot of body. The full effect was very 70’s glam.
Notable winners in the collection included the Axelle blouse in chartreuse with the pixelated floral Pagan pant; the Valmont blazer and Reform skirt both in metallic boucle and the Axelle blouse in a pixelated floral paired with royal blue hosiery finished off with a Ruffian for Stetson cloche; and the Orlando dress in the unicorn collage silk duchess satin with cardinal red piping and cardinal red hosiery by HUE. Shoes for the collection were by Walter Steiger and nails used the Ruffian nail lacquer, which was provided as gifts to guests for the show.
For as many hits, there were also misses; taking the inspiration a little too literally resulting in too much conservative volume. Dissimilarities in the collection were seen between the fitted and well-tailored Orlando dress and the billowing Magaret gown in black double crepe with a ruff collar in ivory silk. The contrast was modern and feminine silhouette, while still represented the inspiration, compared to the unadventurous Elizabethan barristers gown.
Despite some of the shortfalls, many in the crowd praised the overall collection and one can’t help but love the charming Ruffian boys, Brian Wolk and Claude Morais. The designers received the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award and in August, 2011, were inducted into the influential Council of Fashion Designers of America. They have also been featured in countless editorials, including a highly praised profile in Vogue. The label has also been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, W, Elle, Nylon, Allure, Italian Vogue, and WWD. In the Spring of 2010, Assouline published Ruffian:Inside Out to great critical acclaim.
Guests at the show included Neiman Marcus fashion director, Ken Downing, Actress and model, Lydia Hearst and C.E.O. of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Steven Kolb.