2009 June 12

The Book Club Kids

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Cornelia Guest in Ruffian Cornelia Guest in Ruffian
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(NEW YORK) Given that Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have only been designing Ruffian for just under a decade, the publication of their very own book is exceptionally flattering. “It wasn’t supposed to be a book when we first started,” explained Wolk of Ruffian Inside Out. “But because of the vision of Martine Assouline, we edited 2000 pictures down to 100. They were incredibly supportive and kind to us. We feel fortunate to have something like that so young in our career.”

Photographer Jamie Isaia followed the designers over the course of two seasons, and his reportage offers a compelling portrait of their hors-runway experience. Nicole Phelps penned the introduction. A predictably mixed bag of friends came out to toast the two, including Aerin Lauder, Cornelia Guest, Adelina Wong Ettleson, Blaine Trump, Rachel Roy and Lauren Dupont.

John Demsey offered up his historic home on East 61st Street that Theodore Roosevelt gave his daughter Alice as a wedding present in 1906. (It later became the even more storied residence of Montgmery Clift.) “The guys from Ruffian have been good friends with M.A.C," he explained. “We were the first makeup company that was there when they first started. I love their unique hybrid between the downtown world and a couture sensibility. They can play in both courts, mixing Parisian aesthetics with New York edge.”

Many planned to dedicate the weekend to the Ruffian book, interrupting their current literary pursuits. “I’m reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, and it’s fabulous,” said Jonathan Adler. “Why is it we can never remember the names of the books we’re reading?” surmised Simon Doonan. “Wait—I’m reading Mildred Pearce by James M. King. He wrote Double Indemnity. It’s really good. The air of decadence…I love it.”

“I’m reading The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell,” said Alina Cho. “At every moment in time, I have 5 to 10 books on my nightstand. I’m finally getting around to reading Tina Brown’s book Diana. And Chasing Harry Winston…”

Even the designers have side projects. “Claude is a book aficionado,” explained Wolk. “He has an incredible library, and he’s always so passionate about books. Right now, I’m reading one called Intimate Companions.”

“Lately, I’ve been reading picture books,” said Morais. “Vintage Bruce Weber. My reading is more casual than Brian’s—but I read in French!” Even host Demsey planned to settle down this weekend with some casual fare. “I’m reading child psychology books, because I have a 9-month-old daughter,” he confessed. “It’s all about burping up!”

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