2010 September 10

Runway Reviews: Ruffian, Richard Chai Love, Cushnie et Ochs

RUFFIAN Spring 2010 RUFFIAN Spring 2010
Getty Images
View Gallery

“It’s kind of a serious collection, in a way,” explained Brian Wolk backstage before the Ruffian Spring 2011 show. Inspired by Susan Travers, who was the only woman to officially serve with the French Foreign Legion, the duo delivered crisp, sophisticated frocks and skirts in golden and olive tones. Shocks of sapphire blue breathed playful life into the designs, imbuing them with a sense of modernity. “This is Travers’ dream wardrobe, as we imagined it. We were really inspired by the notion of diplomacy,” noted Claude Morais. Teeming with feminine elements like digitized leopard, bright blue ikat and silk jacquard jackets, the collection was at once demure and dramatic. Morais continued, “It’s updated and very modern, but there is a bit of history. That’s a Ruffian show! You have to learn something if you sit front row.”

Dreamy and feminine from first look to the last, Richard Chai presented a bounty of fresh and light delights in soft hues of gray, nude and blush. Shocks of indigo and cobalt blue lit up the collection, and, true to form, Richard Chai Love was not light on layering. While least season was all about prints, color and embellishment, this season was comparatively minimalistic. “I wanted this season to be a really pure approach, and have it be about the cut of the clothes and the idea of proportion,” Chai explained. Voluminous separates fell gracefully over long, translucent pieces and delicate, airy blouses were paired with resin-coated trousers, adding depth and texture.


After a mosly exclusively noir effort full of fur and spiked gloves for fall, Carly Cushnie and Micelle Ochs brought the draping and volume to go along with their usual edge. "The collection progresses from being very tailored to almost intentionally falling apart," said the designers. "Our girl's pleats fall apart, things peel, and drapery takes over." The designers' strength in their spring showing indeed continued to be their peel and shoulder wrap numbers, full of perfect peeks and tricks. Their nude lime looks were inspired, as were twisted floral numbers. The collection gave the designers' number of signature dresses to covet with a newly added splash of fluidity.