February 03, 2006
Last month, Ruffian's Brian Wolk and Claude Morais won the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award in an unprecedented tie with newcomer Phillip Lim of 3.1. One suspects the prize might've been theirs alone had they infused their vintage-inspired designs with a more obvious nod to modernity. Judging by a wool jersey dress that opened their National Arts Club show and a ginkgo-print silk chiffon number, both of which featured miniature pleats, they now sense the need to head in that direction. A shirtdress with a banded hem and two thigh-grazing jumpers with oversize pockets also exhibited a pared-down, almost hip attitude. Other looks, especially those cut from a matronly silk jacquard, seemed out of sync with what's current. The duo's clothes already hang next to Oscar de la Renta's at Saks, but if they want to appeal to a younger client, as Oscar himself, fortyish years their senior, has made strides to do, they will need to keep shedding such anachronisms.