Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are at their best when they're taking cues from their Williamsburg circle. Nothing like a bunch of girlfriends to tell you like it is. This season they made the mistake of looking not at their pals, but at the work of Petrus Christus, a portrait painter who was active in Bruges in the 1400s. That's going way back. The flirty printed minidresses of Ruffian
's last collection were replaced here by long black dresses as somber as monks' robes, accessorized by stiff white ruffs that heightened their costumey aspects. Fortunately, it wasn't all quite that dour. Luminous color combinations—cardinal red with Wedgwood blue, chartreuse and blush pink—lifted things up, as did a unicorn tapestry print. You could see one of their Brooklyn girls in their drawstring-waist digital-print pants (the same print as the unicorns, only zoomed in 400 times). But overall their fabrics tended to have a stiffness that didn't do the formality of their silhouettes any favors. After their youthful Spring outing, this felt like a comedown.