Chado Ralph Rucci Fall 2010

Where & When: Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m., Chado Ralph Rucci atelier
Runway Recap: Last season's Chado Ralph Rucci show was a spectacle in more ways than one--it was held in the Tent, the largest, showiest venue at Bryant Park, and, if you've been watching Kell on Earth on Bravo, you might have heard about the computer snafu that caused a check-in disaster of epic proportions (and ultimately resulted in Rucci seeking new press representation). And while the artistry of Rucci's designs was apparent even from the back row of the Tent, imagine the impact of seeing them up close. Thus for his fall show, Rucci took an about-face, showing his new collection in the far more intimate space of his own atelier in Soho. Sitting mere feet from the runway, one could see every last detail clearly; it was like being in a museum, except that the spectators were static and the works of art in motion. Rucci's understanding and manipulating of fabric knows no bounds: he tears up cashmere, then pieces it back together on a silk tulle base. A breathtaking series of pieces in moiré silk featured quilting that traced the natural patterns of the fiber, evoking wood grains. Black sable was suspended in horsehair, so that the fur appeared to orbit around the body. Rucci even created what appeared to be feathers out of silk georgette and organza, using them to define the spine of a black velvet dress or to cover a gown that, in motion, looked like thousands of fluttering eyelashes. In all, it was 60 looks, and I easily could've watched another 60--I didn't want it to end.
Standout Look: If you ask me, they were all standout looks, but among my favorites (yes, I'm picking more than one) was this broadtail and horsehair coat. I never thought fur could look airy or light, but this one looked so streamlined and elegant, but, with the slashes, modern and forward-thinking as well. This dress stood out for me as well; the program notes call it "trapped feather," and it was--feathers hiding under a layer of silk tulle. I thought the effect this technique created nicely mirrored the murals that Rucci himself had painted on the studio's walls.
Bonus Points: From Rucci's lovely in-house PR team to the intimacy of the venue, I felt like I was in a warm, comfortable salon amongst friends. That is, if my friends were Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Fran Leibowitz, Patti Smith, Deeda Blair, and a host of NYC's top socialites.
Where to Buy: Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and select Neiman Marcus stores.

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