Recently featured on E! Best Looks of New York Fashion Week alongside top designers including Rachel Zoe and Diane von Furstenberg, Cristina Ruales is a Brooklyn-based designer who believes a woman should celebrate her individuality and never let go of her dreams. She launched her label in the Fall of 2000 at Barneys NYC and made her first editorial appearance in Vogue magazine. Her line has been carried in such stores as Henri Bendel, Takashimaya, Bond 07, Scoop, Intermix, and more, and is known for being innovative and creative, yet extremely wearable. New York City Monthly spoke with her recently about her latest show at NYFW…
Congratulations on your second runway show at New York Fashion Week! How did it feel this time around?
I felt calm; even when certain things didn’t go to plan I felt calm. I felt well supported with Edward Tricomi doing hair and Inglot doing makeup. The OUT NYC looked amazing, my lighting by James Ray. In general, a huge relief was having good PR at the door, KHPR was making me feel pretty good. I felt in good hands all around.
The show was outside, what inspired that decision?
As a brand I want to always do an outdoor pop up show for the masses and then an official CFDA NYFW show. Last year was a soft launch and this was our hard launch to retailers so I wanted to focus and it felt like The OUT NYC with the indoor/outdoor feel was a good way to wrap both ideas into one. Visually it also made me incredibly happy to allow people to view the skyline of the city while sitting in “grass” as is the theme of my collection – “Architecture vs. Nature” – it felt kismet.
The name of your SS2016 Ready-to-Wear collection is “Celebrate Your Individuality”, in what elements of your designs do we see that mantra come through?
I honestly hope that mantra shines through for the life of my brand in all things. I want to always stay true to this idea of individuality. I felt and I hope that in all the designs this came through as there should be something unexpected or out of the ordinary in every piece but still very wearable. Whether it be the cut, the print, the color, the unusual silhouette, the combination of fabrics or the shape itself. One of these at minimum should always be reflected and present in my designs and thus bring out the confidence in the wearer who likes that touch of uniqeness that will help bring her to a place of confidence
You’ve said the collection is meant to embody a ‘new sexy’, what did that idea look like to you while sketching?
It meant showing off elements of the female body like the back and showing ‘peak a boo windows’ with the use of transparency as well as the collar bone for example; just a new approach to looking and feeling sexy. I want to give women confidence and that is what I believe we can all agree is what makes any person truly sexy.
While we anticipate the release of this line next spring, we still have to make it through winter in NYC. What styling tips can you share with us as we enter the season?
Ultimately it’s all about having the perfect coat, that one that no matter what you wear underneath can keep you warm. That’s why I only released a couple of pieces from my Fall soft launch and one is the puffer jacket. You can purchase it on our Website: www.cristinaruales.com and I may release another jacket or two. Ultimately though as far as style tips, it’s about playing with proportions in whatever way you want. It’s about the skinny vs. the wide leg but what you combine it with is key as they both are relevant. Also combine fabrics and textures so you have a matt with a shine for example. Lastly, I would say go outside your comfort zone a tiny bit and see how you feel! 😉