2011 February 24

La Vie En Ruffian: Fashion Week Rehab

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It's The Ruffians! It's The Ruffians!
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Brian Wolk and Claude Morais of Ruffian presented a stunning collection recently, but the exhausted designers got into their Ruffian-Mobile and took a little post-fashion week break to the Hamptons. In February?! Now that's Chic!  


"With our show behind us, and in desperate need of some Fashion Week rehab, we were super excited when our friend and collaborator, Carlton DeWoody, invited us out to his place in Southampton for the weekend. ‘Skye West’ as the DeWoody clan calls their lovely home has always been a place of magical weekends for us. So quicker than a needle through silk, we played hookey from work on Friday, hopped in the Ruffian-Mobile and blissfully sat in traffic on the LIE en route to Xanadu. After a quick coffee and chocolate pastry in town at Ye Olde Bake Shoppe, we headed to the beach for a sunset serenade. And truly a symphony it was - seagulls, mist, clouds and all.  Mother nature could not have given a better performance.


As we pulled up the driveway, our shoulders dropped.  We made our entrance to the sweet sounds of a guitar strummed by no other than Louis Schwadron, musical guest extraordinaire for our weekend. Next to enter our Presidents’ Day madrigal was the lovely and talented Sarah Connolly, lady friend (don’t you love that expression? so ‘70's!) of Carlton. First order of business for our happy commune was the menu for dinner. Claude agreed to make his famous Mac and Cheese.  After our healthy dose of lactose, a sufficient amount of red wine, and lying in front of the fire singing Lady Gaga to acoustic guitar, we decided to hit the sack a little early in preparation for our busy Saturday to come. 


As the sun rose over the lawn, so did our happy little gang. Claude’s Madagascar vanilla french toast on the griddle (made of the cobblestone bread we bought at the bakery) was a big hit amongst the peanut gallery. The doorbell rang and entered the next guest in our little game of East End Clue. It was no other than the sultry Johnanna Greenbaum. But don’t let her bad-ass jeans and Joan Jett haircut fool you.  Deputy Chief of Staff and Council for the Mayor’s office, this Bloomberg Knight-in-Shining-Armor does not kid around. Indeed it was time to get some fresh air and work off a few calories, so we hopped in the car and headed to Hampton Bays to Carlton’s favorite music store. Mark Schumacher, owner of Hampton Music greeted us at the front door, and showed us around his serendipitous little world. A master of all instruments, this Renaissance man even repairs and teaches lessons to the local gentry. Carlton’s surprise teal blue guitar for Sarah was a huge hit, and Mark even customized it for her on location. A little walk down the road, we hit a few of the vintage shops, where Carlton picked up his multi-volume encyclopedia of collectables.  Johanna got some vintage gilded picture frames, and I bought a porcelain pig with a ruff collar that turns into an ashtray. 


All of this shopping made us hungry, so we went off to Schmidts, the local year-long farmers market and bought some supplies for dinner (Claude’s famous turkey meatloaf!). As we arrived back at Camp de Carlton, the last of our weekend musical mystery guests arrived as well - the handsome and charming artist and designer Juan Sebastian Errazuriz, or Sebastian (as he is known to his friends).  Sebastian’s multimedia endeavors include Furniture, Sculpture, Public Art and Design.  


The group convened around the table, as we celebrated Americana, drinking whiskey and enjoyed the classic meal before us. Well fed and sufficiently sauced, we all decided to play our favorite party game, “CELEBRITY”. For those of you unfamiliar with this Marie Antoinette favorite, two teams place names of notables in a hat (living, fictional or otherwise). Through various rounds with increasing levels of difficulty, the teams compete to describe these celebrities with smaller and smaller amounts of words. Eventually this all ends up with a silent game of charades. After dividing the group up and making sure the two Harvard grads were not on the same team, we rallied for two hours until we reached a triumphant close.  Team Shazam won! We all made a victory lap around the living room before wishing each other adieu and goodnight.


As we awakened in a haze of celebrity and whisky on Presidents’ Day, a blanket of snow had fallen over the fields…a poetic end to a magnificent weekend of love, warmth, and friendship."

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