By  on February 25, 2005

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue put on an air of exclusivity by previewing the fall collection of Ruffian last week at the flagship here.

Ruffian is an intricate, handmade collection of luxe day and evening looks filled with fur, tapestry, jacquard, lace and silk, inspired by the rebellious “ruffian” artisans in England around the turn of the last century. “Some of the most exquisite handiwork came out of these counterculture workshops at the time of the Industrial Revolution,” said Brian Wolk, who designs the collection with Claude Morais at their atelier in New York. He said Ruffian revives that artisan mentality and offers “accessible couture,” adding: “Nothing gets sent out to a factory.” The duo also designs its fabrics in London and Paris.

Ruffian is only in its second season, and is currently exclusive in New York to Saks. It’s also sold at boutiques around the country. Blouses are priced at $800 to $1,200; trousers, $750 to $1,500; jackets, $1,800 to $3,500, and coats, $2,500 to $5,000.

“They’re young and important designers with a tasty, quality and creative collection,” said Fred Wilson, chairman and chief executive of Saks Fifth Avenue.

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