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August 23 2014

styledotcom Are designers running out of ideas? Or are straightforward clothes a sign of times? stylem.ag/1uSNUd5 via @CathyHorynNYT

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21 posts tagged "Ruffian"

Ruffian Unveils Jewels

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“The jewelry is about modernity, but with a nod to history—there’s something very Ruffian about it,” says Brian Wolk, one half of the Ruffian label with his partner Claude Morais, of their first-ever baubles (made in collaboration with Sequin). One part English Art Deco, another part Memphis Design Group, the 75-piece collection of monogram necklaces (with the designers’ ‘W’ and ‘M’ initials) and colorful bangles will make its debut on the runway at Lincoln Center this weekend. “We like to go to The Victoria and Albert Museum, they have an incredible jewelry collection that fascinates us. But we wanted to add a clash into it, so we looked at Memphis art for the colors and the playful shapes. We thought the juxtaposition of the two would be fun.”

Juxtaposition is something that Wolk and Morais have always toyed with in their clothes, and this season is no different. When their Fall ’12 looks hit the catwalk, watch out for menswear tweaked for the ladies made with English textiles. Style.com has the first look, here, at the new Ruffian bijoux.

Photo: Courtesy of Ruffian

Grey Expectations

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There’s a very open, very shoppable region between art and interior design, and a new Web site called Grey Area is plunging right into it. Kyle DeWoody and Manish Vora, the two young art-world insiders behind this new e-commerce venture, launched it last night with a party at the Wooly, where some of the site’s unique and limited-edition wares were on display. To wit: rope benches by Orly Genger, a resin cast of a Birkin bag by Shelter Serra, which sold on-site, and a tablecloth on which Ruffian designer Claude Morais had made an abstracted line drawing of a male torso (that’s the piece, above, modeled by Morais’ partner, Brian Wolk). “If you see it, you see it,” Morais shrugged, adding that he’s been painting as a hobby for years.

At the moment, Grey Area’s ever-changing online inventory includes bath towels by Tracey Emin and Ed Ruscha, wallpaper by Kiki Smith, a wristwatch by Tom Sachs, and E.V. Day’s playful encapsulation of the Barbie doll—she’s mummy-wrapped in a cocoon of silver and chrome. Grey Area commissioned some of the pieces, others not. It’s hard to believe the idea was born just two months ago, until you consider the founders’ powers combined: Vora is one of the New York gallery scene’s most active gadabouts, and DeWoody and her mother, Beth, are two of the city’s most active art patrons. The crowd at the Wooly included Nicole Miller and Jenna Bush, and had designers Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein (who have a Grey Area collaboration of their own in the works) in the DJ booth.

The site has some storefronts in its future, too, albeit temporary ones: a pop-up in Water Mill later this month, one in L.A. at the end of September, and one in Miami for Art Basel. Explained DeWoody, probably only half-joking, “We’re hoping to conquer the States and then move to Europe next year.”

Photo: Courtesy of Grey Area

“Palm” Thursday

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Context changes everything. “Where you show a collection affects the way people view it,” Ruffian’s Brian Wolk explained last night at the label’s after-party—and perhaps, by extension, how a pair of designers see themselves. This season, Wolk and partner Claude Morais (left) showed at the tents for the first time ever, and dressed up accordingly in coat and tie. This was partially out of respect for Lincoln Center—”where Balanchine choreographed ballets and where Maria Callas sang,” Wolk remarked—but largely out of deference to the collection’s muse, an adventuring diplomat named Susan Travers. “It didn’t seem respectful to her not to dress the way she would have wanted her lover or husband to dress,” Wolk said.

And for the post-show celebration? Michael’s, the storied power-lunch spot where she would have wanted to munch on caviar and jumbo shrimp surrounded by blue-chip art and eighties haute design. The midtown restaurant has been seeing an injection of young blood lately—including, last night, Lance Bass and models Fernanda Motta and Julie Ordon. “We love to design clothing for women who live in cities with the word ‘Palm’ in them,” Wolk wisecracked. As might be expected, those women were elsewhere.

Photo: J.T. White / PatrickMcMullan

First College, Now Spring Break

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Today I’m in sunny Saint-Tropez for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Resort show, but last Thursday I was in hot and balmy Savannah at the city’s College of Art and Design for a panel discussion with Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais (that’s us onstage). Sandwiched between Keegan Singh’s talk on styling and Hamish Bowles’ lecture on collecting couture, my Ruffian pals and I spoke about the relationship between designers and critics. The students had plenty of tough questions: What do you base your reviews on (for my part, it’s primarily about how the current collection compares to the designers’ previous work, and secondly, how it fits within the context of the season), are you easier on young designers than more established ones (constructive criticism is our specialty), and, for the Ruffians, how do reviews affect what you do the next season? Apropos of that, on a tour of Flannery O’Connor’s modest childhood home, the guide told us O’Connor’s collected Complete Stories won the National Book Award in 1972, eight years after her death. Brian and Claude joked that it was a good lesson to remember when the tough reviews come in.

Photo: Courtesy of SCAD

SCAD’s Night Of The Stars—Give Or Take One Or Two

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That volcano in Iceland has been cramping everyone’s style lately, and the Savannah College of Art and Design is no exception. Two of the recipients of last night’s 2010 SCAD Style Étoile Awards, Catherine Deneuve and Sir David Tang, had to cancel their trips. But the show went on. Luckily for Tang, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (pictured, with Michael Douglas), was in town and perfectly willing to accept on her half brother’s behalf—although even she nearly didn’t make it. “I’ve run down the street,” Fergie explained from the podium, where she was still catching her breath.

Once she did, she quoted Lord Chesterfield from Tang’s speech: “Style is the very clothing of thought”—an appropriate sentiment for a small-scale evening devoted to celebrating, in SCAD president Paula Wallace’s words, innovators “who change the way we walk, we talk, we think.”

Among them: Graydon Carter, Peter Arnell, and decorators John Rosselli and Bunny Williams. The well-connected design school is also gearing up for the ten-day series of lectures and events it will be hosting later this month on its Georgia campus, an annual meeting of fashion minds that has introduced the likes of Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and John Galliano to home-fried Southern hospitality in the past. “It’s always inspiring. I love the questions and also to give those kids a bit of hope and some realness,” Ruffian’s Claude Morais explained. “We also get a lot of our interns from SCAD, too,” his partner, Brian Wolk, added. So does interior designer Jonathan Adler: “I have a whole cadre of them working for me,” he said.

Photo: Nick Hunt/PatrickMcMullan.com