Ruffian Fall 2012 Collection

Posted on February 19, 2012

The timing wasn’t quite right for Downton Abbey to have a major effect on the runways this season, but you got the sense that everyone wished it had. The show’s reaching its peak in international popularity and, like Mad Men before it, is practically begging the design world to come take a look at its wares and do their best to recreate them. Ruffian always flirted with a tweedy English style, and the stated inspiration for this collection was statues in country house gardens, so we believe that there wasn’t a direct Downton starting point here, just a nice bit of fashion synchronicity thrown in stark relief by the pop culture zeitgeist. But it’s hard not to see Lady Mary in some of these elegant tailored long coats, or Lady Edith putting the pedal to the metal in some of the looser, shorter ones. Even if it’s not directly Downton, there’s an elegant shooting party chic thing going on here that just happens to push a couple pop culture buttons at the moment.


[Photo Credit:]

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  • Anonymous


  • MilaXX

    A few things give a Annie Hall menswear vibe and that pink suit feels very 1980’s Dynasty collection, but there’s a lot here to like. Not 100% sold on the hats though. In some shots they works like royal blue with the tweet suit, in others it just sees a bit much.

    • Anonymous

      The hats are my favorite part, but then I’m a bit of a hat whore to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    Ralph Lauren apparently used the theme song for their show, so there were at least some direct references. (How unsurprising that it’s Ralph Lauren.)

  • Gabriella Soza

    are those…. hips???

    • Jasmine Moten

      What are these so-called “hips” that you speak of?

    •  I know, RIGHT?!  Women with actual shapes to their bodies.  This is radical and insane!  They must be stopped. Otherwise people might get the idea that women are actually built like that, not like anorectic teenage boys.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Not really my style.  But was interesting to look at.  

    • Anonymous

      Ditto on that hat.

  • Anonymous

    I think we found Carmen Sandiego.

  • Anonymous

    Lady in the (beautiful) long red coat reads Carmen San Diego to me. Also, I’ll take one of each coat from the top row please. 

  • Anonymous

    So far what I am seeing in the way of “DA-inspired” (like the new Ralph Lauren) is missing one of the key elements to me: the wonderful fabrics and patterns! I salivate over the women’s blouses every single episode. When, oh when, will I be able to wear something similar without paying vintage collectible prices for antique fragile fabric? Sigh…

    • Anonymous

      I so agree!  Those blouses are lovely – not too unstructured, beautiful light fabrics and sleeves!

  • Sally Brownson

    Oh how I’d love to have that gray velvet suit in the fourth row…

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE those coats.  I would wear each and every one but that second one is my favorite and I am going to have to find a way to own it or find a reasonable knock off.

  • Pretty.
    I think I read somewhere that the Ralph Lauren collection was inspired by Downton Abbey, no?

  • Anonymous

    I really want a closer look at those shoes…

  • Mariah J

    DO WANT!

  • Anonymous

    I like the color story and the general idea a lot more than I like the actual pieces. And vintage/military is just my aesthetic, so I was expecting to love love this.

  • Anonymous

    These cloths are giving me a dizzying feeling of deja vu, since I’m sure I was wearing clothes just like this in the 80s: leather and tweed, glen plaid, etc. I must go lie down. 

  • Love the top row coat on the right. 

  • Anonymous


  • Pennymac

    I really really REALLY like this!

  • Anonymous

    I could really see a modern Lady Edith in the 5th row pants/leather jacket combo.

  • Anonymous

    Some great colours, fabrics and lines here. I wish I was a girl!

  • Anonymous

    Da-do-want-want-want, da-DO-want-want!

  • Love the coats!

  • Anonymous

    The long coats, especially that first plaid one, look very early 70s to me. Like the popular girls who shopped at I Magnin had something very similar to these in about 1970-71.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful tailoring and lovely detailing.  Very well-executed, classy-looking clothes.  I like!!

  • Are skirt waists going up now? I might not be able to wear them, but  I love the fabrics used in those skirts.

  • Always up for cozy wool flannels.  Love!  

  • Anonymous

    Coats – top row – first and third
    Dress – 9th row – first
    Love. Swoon.

  • Anonymous

    I love the suits and dresses. Several of them seem curve-friendly.

  • Anonymous

    The short blue dress, please.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    The middle top in the bottom row looks like it’s choking the model (or maybe it’s just me–I have a morbid fear of being choked by high collars), but the rest of it is pretty good.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take the gray velvet suit, please. The collection is lovely but high-necked garments are not my figure’s friend. Shame, I’d love the blue-tweed-and-leather as well.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with fashion these days is it moves well too quickly for most to keep up and fully realize their vision. IMHO

  • I like the subtlety of the plaid in the center of the first row. And please give me the slate blue trench in the fourth row, please, please!

  • Anonymous

    WANT the olive green coat, row 3, and the blue coat with the Mandarin collar, row 4. Overall very classy looking, and things that I can see stylish normal [rich] women wearing.  I’ve never heard of this designer before but I’ll be watching from now on!

  • Anonymous

    most of this is too conservative for me, obviously– much too much lotus 1-2-3 much too much crap i had to wear to work c1988. but i like the late 40s maternity car coat first row right & the upside down buttoned baby doll, second row, below it. also the upside down buttoned maternity baby doll pantsuit two down from that. something, however, is oddly proportioned in the late 70s velvety cum velveteen semi-power skirt suit beside it–although the bubbly blue barely bouclé leathery black bib ‘n’ sleeved is at least bordering becoming‘s ballpark. &, of course redux, i do like the final black maxi coat. &, even more of course than that, boy i am beat today.

    edited for grammar. & exhaustion.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not completely sold on the tweedy jackets these days, though I can see them with jeans. I do, however,  love the middle look on the second row, and the skirts in general. So wearable!

  • Love the coats and the black velvet wrap dress.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad about the cropped pants…otherwise, flawless!

  • Another runway full of great, wearable, beautifully made clothes, that actual grown up women might want to wear.  What is HAPPENING to the fashion industry?   Have they gone mad, making clothes for adult women, when everyone knows the only people who buy clothes are 22, 5’11” and are size 2?

  • twocee

    Wow.  There is literally not one look that I would not love to own in that entire collection. 

    Oh, to be rich.

  • miwome

    Leather harem pants seems like the ultimate sweaty torture to me, but wev. Otherwise, I quite like this.

  • This looks like it must have been great to see in person. I love the colors.

  • m0r0

    GORGEOUS! Retro chic!

  • Hats! There are a lot of hats this season, and I’d love to see them become main stream so I have an excuse to wear one. I don’t love everything here, but the bright reds are refreshing. 

  • I love plaid.  I’m glad to see it so prominently featured.

  • ammjam

    6th row, 3rd column.  MINE. 

  • Scarlet39

    It’s all very Cathy Cambridge. 

  • Yes, please.  And I will take that plaid on plaid blazer, row three center.  Immediately.