Leave obvious inspirations like Bianca Jagger or Ali MacGraw to other designers. Brian Wolk and Claude Morais took Susan Travers, an obscure diplomat, according to the press notes, and the only woman to serve officially with the French Foreign Legion, as a muse for Spring. She provided the collection with its polished military look—brass-buttoned ambassador jackets cinched with satin belts over high-waisted, full-legged canvas trousers and satin camp shirts tucked into crisp A-line skirts. The white, royal blue, olive drab, and gold palette was razor-sharp, but Ruffian
's lineup wasn't as regimented as all that. Travers' position took her not only through Europe but to Africa and Vietnam as well, which gave the designers a good reason to mix in an ikat-patterned strapless dress with an intricately pleated bodice and another summery frock with pintucking at the waist in white cotton sateen. Leopard print and black sequin-embroidered camouflage added an exotic element, too, the former more believably than the latter. Wolk and Morais have always loved mixing the masculine with the feminine. But with so much tailoring on the runways lately, it was their straight-up-sexy dresses draped to a twist at the waist that had real gotta-get-one appeal.