Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have closed the book on Madame de Pompadour, their Spring muse. For Fall, they said their inspiration was boarding-school girls with serious rebellious streaks. Yes, they still did ruffles: You can't have a Ruffian show without them. But any frills were tempered by biker-boy belt buckles, graffiti prints, and lots of curve-hugging Japanese denim, designed in collaboration with Earnest Sewn. And that's not to mention the ultraviolet lipstick or killer sandals made by Christian Louboutin.
Reinterpretations of prep-school uniformsthe schoolgirl dress, the fitted jacket worn over a white oxford with a narrow tie, the oversize boyfriend blazergo with this territory, of course. It was the designers' clever take on off-campus attire that stood out: a Baja jacket in French bouclé that topped a black mini, shirtwaist dresses in a print from a 1939 Vogue listing of boarding schools, and a bustier minidress with you've-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it graffiti needlepoint circling the waist. In sum, this was Ruffian's most youthful and imaginative collection to date.