22 posts tagged "Ruffian"
This season, it’s become abundantly clear that designers are trying to break out of the New York fashion week mold. Whether it’s rethinking the standard runway format or forgoing a show altogether, brands are embracing change more so than any time in recent memory—and that’s a good thing. The latest label to buck the system is Ruffian, which will be presenting its Spring ’15 collection in Hollywood on October 27 after years of holding down the Saturday 9 a.m. slot at Lincoln Center.
For designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, the spontaneous decision to relocate their show followed a cross-country road trip peppered with trunk shows and press events that ended in Los Angeles, where they accepted a creative residency three months ago. With the help of the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, the Ruffian boys set up a second studio in the historic Hancock Park neighborhood, and have been working on a lineup—all sourced and produced locally in L.A.—inspired by their new home-away-from-home. And while many forward-thinking talents (with Hedi Slimane being the poster boy, of course) have treated the City of Angels as a laboratory for ideas, few established brands have actually dared to show there until now, so perhaps Ruffian will spark a West Coast movement.
On the eve of NYFW, Style.com spoke with Wolk and Morais about leaving NYFW to show Spring ’15 in California, L.A.’s cultural renaissance, their plans for the future, and more.
Why was showing in L.A. this season the right move for you?
We have always been inspired by our community of artists. Over the last couple of years, many of our most talented fine arts collaborators and collector friends have moved to Los Angeles to show and to live. The West has always been associated with creative freedom and a wide-open landscape. During our three months’ residency here, we have had boundless inspiration, experienced extraordinary enthusiasm for our work, and have had the opportunity to form a fresh expression of our aesthetic within a new cultural context.
Did you know you would end up staying in L.A. after your #ruffianroadtrip?
We decided to cross-country by car after our Fall show, with L.A. being the final destination. At the time, we didn’t know L.A. would become the source of inspiration for our next collection, but sometimes you have to be able to listen to l’air du temps and react. We quickly discovered through our travels that the fashion diaspora was not limited to the geographical boundaries of any one city. The world has changed, and the availability of fashion online has blurred the boundaries of previously established fashion capitals. Now the global experience is informing the future of fashion more than ever. We as designers need to stay on our toes, and keep moving along with our clients. Being stagnant doesn’t seem to be the mode of the time.
Would you agree that L.A. is having a fashion moment?
Absolutely. The mood is palpable. It’s kind of a perfect storm of irreverence, street style, cinematic allure, and unapologetic glamour. Whether it’s a demure late-night dinner at the Sunset Tower, Giorgio’s Disco Saturday nights at The Standard, or a “cool” iced coffee at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney, the diversity of the L.A. fashion repertoire and its focus on lifestyle is truly its strength.
Has the city changed your aesthetic in any way?
I think it’s always exciting to be in a new environment when you design. In terms of our aesthetic, we’ve always liked to say we dress the “impeccable rebel,” and that hasn’t changed so much. What has changed is the new environment that we’re in, in terms of different clients and different collaborators who help form the collection.
What can you tell me about your plans for the show and the Spring ’15 collection itself?
We’re going to be showing at Sarah Gavlak’s recently opened gallery in Hollywood on the corner of North Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Sarah is someone we’ve known for quite a while from New York, who also has a gallery in Palm Beach. Her new space is incredible, and she works with a group of artists who we have strong relationships with. We’re still figuring out the actual logistics of the show, but really want to reflect Los Angeles in terms of the way we present it. The collection itself is inspired by the graphics of the city, and you’ll learn more about that as we get closer to the show.
Do you anticipate that showing in L.A. in October will affect your sales in any way?
All of our retailers are totally on board, and we’re going to be doing our market in New York as per usual. Obviously, we had extensive conversations with everyone before making the decision to go ahead with the plan. For buyers, it’s a rolling calendar anyways these days, and they are open to looking at Spring and Fall with different timing. It’s going to be an interesting experiment for us, but at the end of the day, the business element is just as important to us as the art.
Do you plan on staying there, or will you return to NYFW?
Well, New York is where our books and our lives and our apartment and our permanent studio are, but we would like to keep a studio here in Los Angeles. The bicoastal life has been good to us, so you’ll have to stay tuned.
The Fall ’14 Ready-to-Wear collections are under way in New York, and will be followed by the shows in London, Milan, and Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Ruffian, designed by Brian Wolk and Claude Morais
WHERE: New York
WHEN: Saturday, February 8
WHAT: “For Fall ’14, we explored monastic opulence and tailored volume with lavish sumptuousness. We’ll also introduce a new hat collection with Stetson.”—Brian Wolk and Claude Morais. The designers sent us an exclusive first look at their Stetson hats, above.
Even though Labor Day traditionally marks the end of of summer fun, Ruffian‘s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais aren’t ready to jet home quite yet. For their Spring ’14 show on Saturday, the designers are set to introduce a collection rooted in Côte d’Azur debauchery, veiled in a layer of Italian heritage thanks to a collaboration with Giulia Campeol’s Venice-based footwear label, Allagiulia.
“Giulia’s family made Friulana slippers, which are the shoes that gondoliers wear,” Wolk told Style.com. “The soles are traditionally made out of discarded bike tires so that they don’t slip on the boats. She brought them to the next level, using more fabrics and textiles.” Added Morais, “And we’ve adapted that signature.”
The result—a leather-fringed, polka-dotted, tire-rubber-sole flat (which debuts exclusively above) —smartly conveys the evolution from the canal to the catwalk. “Giulia came to our studio, and we looked at all of our reference images for the lineup—fifties Saint-Tropez,” said Wolk, adding that the author Françoise Sagan, a literary enfant terrible of sorts, also served as a Spring muse.
It’s Sagan’s breathlessly paced life that informs the rest of the collection, which is dubbed Ingenue. “She was very much a Ruffian. She drove race cars, she was always in trouble, and she actually had to go to rehab in the south of France,” said Wolk. “At Ruffian there’s always a good girl who has gone a little bit bad.”
Despite last night’s spontaneous blizzard, designers and fashion fixtures headed to Finale NYC to fête the launch of eBay and the CFDA’s 2013 You Can’t Fake Fashion tote collection. Marking the pair’s third collaborative effort to fight counterfeits and support authentic design, the new range features 90 one-of-a-kind canvas tote bags that have been customized by designers like Prabal Gurung (above, center), Pamela Love, Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg (above, right), and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy (above, left). The designer-embellished bags are available for purchase via eBay auction through March 25 for a starting price of $100. The initiative is also offering a new standard tote for a “buy it now” price of $50. Proceeds will go toward combating fakes.
“As artists, we work so hard to create something, and then it gets knocked off,” said Rebecca Minkoff. “This is a great platform to ensure authenticity.” Carly Cushnie of Cushnie et Ochs concurs, and suggested that there’s security in knowing her and her design partner Michelle Ochs’ work is protected. “The CFDA has a voice that brings everyone together to preserve design integrity,” she said.
In addition to the likes of CFDA CEO Steven Kolb, Jeffrey Costello, Robert Tagliapietra, and Rebecca Taylor, Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais turned up to rally for the cause. And, according to Morais, they have a particularly special relationship with eBay. “We’re always using the site as a reference point. Right now it’s all about the 1920s and the hunt for the perfect embroidered dress.” We’re sensing a Jazz Age vibe for the team’s Spring ’14.
If Sherlock Holmes were a woman, in an opium den, on the Bowery, at the turn of the century, what would she wear? This is precisely the question Ruffian designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais will try to answer with their upcoming Fall ’13 collection, which takes to the runway on February 9. To help achieve this particular aesthetic fantasy, the duo has teamed up with Frye—who will celebrate its 150 anniversary this year—to create a range of runway shoes, all of which will be available on the brand’s Web site. “We love to work with other American companies, especially companies that manufacture here in the USA,” said Wolk, adding that Ruffian and Frye’s shared appreciation for craftsmanship made the partnership a natural choice. The shoes and boots will exhibit classic Ruffian-esque attention to detail, like hand embroidery, jet beads, snakeskin, custom tassels, and—wait for it—twenty-four-karat gold leaf cuffs. The designers gave Style.com an exclusive sneak peek at their collaborative kicks via two sketches (above). As for this week’s show, Wolk revealed that the collection is called “Revery.” “We like to take walks as part of our creative process, so we want the show to be a walk on the Bowery on a magical night—an exciting, smoky evening.”