September 27, 1999
A.F. Vandervoorst took over the reigns at Ruffo Research this year from Raf Simons and Veronique Branquinho, who had imbued the traditional leather goods company with a more experimental edge. The transition couldn't have been smoother: A.F. Vandervoorst's collection was brave, innovative and brilliant, reworking traditional biker and hospital uniforms into luxurious leather ensembles, some with unexpected details like asymmetrical closures and sleeves, others strikingly simple and clean. Ruffo Research provided a very welcome jolt of inspiration to Milan fashion week; some of their pieces, like the white, paper-thin hospital lab coats, distressed trousers and heavily pleated skirts, are sure to become instant cult classics with the forward-thinking set.