Ruffian Spring 2014: The dark side of adolescence

Another season, another floral print.  Except this time, Ruffian’s interpretation for Spring 2014 went darker than expected for a season typically associated with light and cheer.  Inspired by Françoise Sagan’s writing, particularly the novel Bonjour Tristesse, Brian Wolk and Claude Morais channeled the confusing transitional years before adulthood into highly wearable looks that convey the feel of a freshly-plucked but fragile flower.

The collection’s swingy skirts with dark blooms in English hand-quilted cotton, silk georgette blouses with pussy bows and white Peter Pan collars against black A-line dresses are just a sweet facade.  The skirts are sometimes a tad bit too short for polite company, and the long, loose ribbons of the bows entice in an unintentional, yet fully intentional, way.  The overall impression is one of subversive innocence – a knowing, sophisticated maturity hides behind these tropes of girlishness.

Closing the show was a declaration of nascent adulthood in the form of a mint-green silk cotton suit: the jacket’s sharp shoulders were decisive and confident, while the narrow ankle-length pants kept the look modern and young.  Worn with pointy polka-dotted flats, with a large crystal brooch borrowed from Grandma’s dressing table pinned to the lapel, the effect was pure charm.  Wolk and Morais didn’t call their collection “Ingénue” for nothing.