2010 September 10

A Barbra Moment with The Ruffians

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Claude Morais and Brian Wolk Claude Morais and Brian Wolk
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Chic caught up with Ruffian's Brian Wolk and Claude Morais before their Spring 2011 show yesterday and chatted Barbra, Marlene, history lessons, and lots of family love...

How are you guys feeling this morning?
BW: Hold on one second, I need to switch sides; we always stand next to each other on the same side during interviews!
CM: [laughs] Okay, Barbra!

Are you having a Barbra moment today?
CM: I love her dearly, but no, not today.
BW: We do have really serious nails for the collection, which is kind of Barbra.
CM: Yes, she would probably wear it. We love her for her nails.
BW: I’d say I’m having a Marlene Dietrich moment, surrounded by army boys.

And there is a certain military element to the collection…
BW: It’s kind of a serious collection, in a way. It was inspired by a woman named Susan Travers, and she was the only woman ever to be in the French Foreign Legion. What’s really interesting is that she was the daughter of an English navy admiral and she grew up in the south of France. She ending up being a diplomat and the entire collection is inspired by this idea of diplomacy. It’s her dream wardrobe, as we imagined it. So there are elements of military, but in a diplomatic way, as opposed to an army way.
CM: It’s very modern, and it’s very now. This collection, more than ever, we wanted to give real clothes for real women, for the market, for everyone, for our buyers, for our friends.

The Susan Travers story is a bit of a history lesson!
BW: That’s a Ruffian show for you! You’ve got to learn something when you sit in the front row, otherwise, what’s the point?

What grade did you get in history class?
BW: My father was a history professor, actually. I’ve always been a complete history buff, and Claude and I are both research fanatics.
CM: A+! A+ for me in history. I’ve been traveling all my life, and so history and geography has always been a passion.

[Mrs. Wolk interjects] BW: Mom, we’re actually doing an interview right now. [Mrs. Wolk apologizes and walks away, laughing, “Oh okay, I’ll get out of here!"]

Your mom always supports you guys.
CM: Oh yes, and Brian’s father actually always shoots all our shows in the photo pit.
BW: Totally, that’s where he loves to be to get the best shot. My family is like a Woody Allen movie, essentially.

How diplomatic are you?
[both in unison] Very diplomatic!
BW: Diplomacy is getting someone to wear what you want them to wear.

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