Fashion from the dark side

2:19 am | Friday, May 16th, 2014


It’s a rare thing nowadays to find a young designer who truly stands out in the field. It often takes many years of practice, and even more time to find inspiration to properly convey a message through one’s work.

For someone to have the patience and the talent for fashion design is quite a feat, especially if the person is a fresh graduate.

These are the qualities of Gavin Ruffy, a recent graduate of the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Fashion and Merchandising program. His work can easily be mistaken for that of a long-time designer. His graduate collection, Clandestine, is well-thought of and, most importantly, well-crafted.

Dark, moody

FRONT-ZIP P2,395, Topshop SM Aura sweetheart neckline dress with pleated tulle

His work evokes true emotion, It explores people’s deepest, darkest secrets—their nsecurities, loneliness and “skeletons in their closets,” as Ruffy  says.

The collection’s three pieces are dark and moody, yet possess the understated elegance and glamour of the 1920s.

“I was inspired by the vibe of the flapper women, kasi during the ’20s, women were expected to be ladylike and proper, but these flapper women rebelled. They indulged in drugs, alcohol, parties and sex. They had hidden lives, and I find that really interesting,” says Ruffy.

In re-imagining the flapper women in today’s society, Ruffy  pictures the ideal woman: “When I started designing, I thought, ‘What if these women lived now? Who would they be?’ So my inspiration is a woman you’d love to hate but envied by many, always the center of attention. But she’s mysterious—and even if it seems she has everything, deep inside she’s lonely.


“This is my interpretation of the negative and heavy emotions we all have, the deepest, darkest secrets and could be translated into something dramatic and beautiful,” he explains.

STRUCTURED peplum jacket

Ruffy  had planned his graduation show a year in advance, knowing immediately that he would be doing something sensual and sexy, which he acknowledges as his design style.

The finalization and actual construction of the collection took around two months of nonstop work.

The collection uses gazar, mesh fabric and chiffon. The pieces were hand-beaded in an understated manner to highlight the fringe details emphasis on movement.

Most of the work was personally hand-sewn by Ruffy. A perfectionist, he says that “if there’s a mistake, I start all over again.”

The hardest part of the creative process was doing everything in a short period. “I had to double the effort and work nonstop. I had to keep myself motivated, stay focused, to keep on going,” he says.

Ruffy felt that his work paid off when he finally saw his vision come to life.

As a child, Ruffy  already saw himself working in the arts.

“I enjoyed drawing and painting. I even did theater. I think my direction would be in the creative industry,” he admits.

HIGH-SLIT bustier train gown

Yet Ruffy  considered a career in fashion design only in high school, when he found that he enjoyed dressing up and sketching clothes. “My notebook was filled with fashion sketches. And some of my friends noticed and appreciated them. I realized that this is what I want to do. I just honed my skills,” he says.

His journey into the fashion industry was made easier with the support of his family: “They’re my best and worst critics, most especially my mom who has given me the best support in everything I do and would always encourage me to do my best, and tell me that it’s okay if I sometimes fail.”

Ruffy  also designed the clothes for his sister’s debut.

Now that Ruffy  is about to finish college, he intends to first apprentice for a designer to learn more about the industry and how to run a business.

He sees himself establishing his own fashion brand in the future.

It’s possible that Ruffy  will rise to become a a big name in Philippine fashion—with his keen eye for design and knack for bringing ideas to life.

Call Gavin Ruffy at 0917-8233050; e-mail gavin_ruffy@yahoo.com.ph.

Tags: fashion , Gavin Ruffy , Lifestyle

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