Waste Not, Want Not.

Upcycling, the eco sexual and other thoughts behind our 2012 collection!

“Wear the change we want to see.”  Robyn Lidsky, Ruby designer 2012.


   “The world is too much with us; late and soon,

    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

     Little we see in Nature that is ours;

     We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

     The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

     The winds that will be howling at all hours,

     And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

     For this, for everything, we are out of tune”

                     – William Wordsworth


The drive to have more, buy more, consume more (and dispose of more) has been the dominant cultural paradigm for centuries. But in the last couple of years, the dominoes have started toppling, and people are re-examining the most fundamental notions they’ve been living by.

The sub-prime crisis; the demise of banking giants; the bail-out and near-collapse of automobile manufacturers (that selfishly chose not to make electric vehicles – and the environmental catastrophe we are thus facing) have made us all sit up and take notice of how far off-course we have drifted.

 It’s largely our greed, our short-sightedness, and our alienation from a natural order that has brought about all these crises. The question is: How do we get ourselves, and our planet, back on track?

Our errant ways cannot just be peeled off like a dirty frock. They are in our skin. They have become so much a part of our make-up, it will take some serious, conscious intervention to get things moving in the right direction.

But for those that have their eyes and ears open, this condition also implies a challenge, a vision, and an opportunity to move beyond the selfish, the outdated, and the frivolous… and to stand up and be counted as part of the new generation of leaders, artists and visionaries that we are so desperately in need of.

That is the context through which I am beginning to make new sense of the zeitgeist: What is the challenge to the fashion industry, to the Ruby collection, and to myself (and my family) at a critical time like this on a writhing, warming planet?

The way I see it – as a designer - is to “wear the change we want to see in the world”. (with apologies to M. Gandhi)

We can wear the new world order: by buying local, investing in local communities, taking the hand-made pledge. Recycle. Redistribute. Support the small guy. We can be the very change we want to see happening around us.

On a broader level, we need to appreciate the moment; dwell in the magic; and give thanks to the cosmos for giving us this beautiful planet to love, cherish and honour.

Personally, I am still glowing with the inspiration of seeing Namaqualand in bloom in September 2008. I can close my eyes and recall the perfect palettes, the intricate shapes, and the heavenly choreography of a million petals dancing in the wind - while tracking the sun across an immense indigo sky.

I hope you enjoy the show.

 Robyn Lidsky,

Founder and designer of Ruby




Words, themes and phrases that encapsulate Ruby Summer 09:


Signature. Trend-less and timeless. Limited Editions.

All-day comfort. Practical. Easy wearing

Craft-inspired. Hand-made. “South”-inspired. Homegrown. Adorned. Vintage-esque. Sheer.

Ruby red “Dorothy” shoes – perfect for treading our Yellow Brick Road.

Muted metallics. Cosmic grunge. Glitter Perspex. Women Warrior. Neo-Folk. Recycled. Mis-matched. Psychedelic. Neon.

Art nouveau nature-inspired motfis such as peacocks, conch shells, sea horses, mushrooms.

Lush Baroque florals. Textured, flocked laces.


NB This year sees the introduction of a brand new Ruby hosiery range (in collaboration with Falke). Four bespoke designs were developed specifically by Ruby for this season’s range. Look out for “Tattoo”, “Snakes n Ladders”, “Sea-Horses” and “Floral Heart”.


All accessories shown are unique Ruby designs manufactured and assembled by the Ruby Beading Circle in Cape Town.


Shoes courtesy of Aldo. (Thanks Aldo!)