One issue with a designer of this caliber is that every season, you expect to see brilliance and so when it is delivered, you feel satisfied in knowing that there is such a thing as consistency in the ever changing world of fashion. Ralph Rucci has always said that his journey and body of work are evolutionary and not revolutionary and this is a fact that cannot be disputed.
This was a seismic event and not an earthquake, but just enough to let you know that the Earth shook a bit and the ground moved. This was a 3.5 or 4 on the Richter scale. The mood at the brand is shifting and to the trained eye, one might notice that the play of proportions is at the front. While shapes are a bit leaner, the laser sharpness continues and yet there is layering in ways that can only be described as “light of hand.” The apron layer was a big element as was the ever present “streamers” that have become part of the Rucci vocabulary and DNA.
The palette is superb with shots of coral and another Rucci “element”… tobacco. There is a bit of color blocking, a touch of signature prints, and the omnipresent handwork that is only duplicated in the world of Haute Couture. Of course, there is his own manipulation of special effects, whether they be matte paillettes, holographic opalescent eyelash fringe or one awe-inspiring way he can turn fabric into an eighth wonder of the world. The tulle inserts have been played in a different, less linear fashion and the zippers have become a greater design presence.
The photos will really tell the story (not as much as I hoped), but trust me when I say that very few can make white matte python look chic. The feathered pieces are lighter than air and the de rigeur ball gown is as soigne as ever. Ponder how this designer can send out countless pieces in white chiffon and make them all look divine without ever crossing over to that horrible moment when you think: ”Oh, it looks like a nightgown!”
I leave you with these thoughts and you may need to really dig deep, but I want to know what designer has ever managed to make a turtleneck in chiffon and have it stand up without hugging the neck with choking tightness… (see photo)? He alone conceives and dreams and he alone achieves what most never even entertain the thought of! Lastly, let’s say the collection is not younger, but more modern as I find that much more descriptive to the caliber of these clothes; the change is subtle and the DNA is intact! | Jeffrey Felner
pictures via George Chinsee