It’s only every once in a while as a fashion fan and a somewhat new editor that you get a chance to see a true couturier at work. Even though the US has mind-blowing, amazing design talent, we only have one person here who can officially say that he’s a trained man with the skills and credentials to call his designs “couture” – Ralph Rucci. His line, Chado Ralph Rucci, is a showing of his artistic creations and mind-bending attention to detail, design and the woman who wears them. The ability to see this show in person was something of a personal accomplishment for me, a chance to be near clothing with that painstaking detail that demands the price tag and respect he has earned.
For Spring 2012, Rucci’s creations balanced between everyday well-heeled white wool crepe dresses and suiting separates to the whimsical and dazzling, like a signature printed caftan encrusted with dazzling crystals. While his daytime pieces and jackets were effortlessly wearable, they were never “expected,” with clear plastic inlaid in some of the sleeves and a neoprene coat with exaggerated sleeves as examples of his touch.
The color palette undulated with the music (Ravel’s Bolero was the soundtrack for the presentation) and evolved effortlessly from white and silver to nude, to black, then oyster, then black and white evening gowns that were so breathtaking the audience erupted into applause. Actually, the audience erupted into applause about five times during the presentation, an homage to the exquisite display of garments and options provided by the designer.
It’s hard to note just one piece but between the nude cigalline and horsehair flounce dress and the showstopping evening gowns at the end, the effect of the color palette and the designs on an all-black reflective runway had the sensual effect of smoke over a mirror – sensual, effortless, ethereal…beautiful.
Rucci’s clientele are a rather established sort who collect his pieces like the art they are, but if you ever have occasion to collect just one piece for maximum wardrobe impact, please do snap up anything from the Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2012 collection. It’s quite simply the clothing from which dreams (and dream-making moments) are made.