Ruffian has always been associated with glamour and seductive silhouettes, but for the Fall 2014 collection it seems designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais were answering to a higher calling. It's true that a sexy dress or versatile blouse can sometimes be an answer to our prayers, but this season Ruffian got downright holy with its looks. Citing "monastic opulence" as the theme, the designers pulled from religious imagery and Catholic references resulting in a collection that was both ecclesiastical and full of drama.
As the lights dimmed, the sound of chanting monks appropriately set the tone for the show (I nearly expected the Virgin Mary herself to descend on the runway). Opening with a bishop bomber jacket, the palette was made up mostly of ministerial black and rich, regal tones of scarlet and blue accented with metallics. High, pleated collars evoked European pomp and circumstance that might normally seem overly cartoonish, but surprisingly worked well when balanced by long, flowing fabrics. Elizabethan sleeves complemented fitted blouses and long robes layered over dresses.
Although the references are very literal, Ruffian has managed to translate them in a way that does actually work. The overall look is severe and edgy, yet the details are feminine and elegant. Individually, the separates make for great statement pieces that carry a lot of versatility. We may not have witnessed a divine intervention on the runway, but Ruffian's Fall 2014 collection is pretty heavenly.