Ralph Rucci prides himself on existing “a-little-bit-to-the-left” of the chaos theory-proving spectacle that the contemporary fashion machine can be. He’s a bit Halston in his fierce loyalty to his “ladies”, a bit Donna in his engagement of the metro-zen side of things, and (most captivatingly) a bit Alaia in his insistence that inarguably singular work will inevitably bring the industry to him, rather than the other way around. His is a world of meticulously crafted artisanal technique; never driven by trend, but always fascinated with modernity.
For fall 2013, Rucci set his sights on an interstellar path, as he presented a collection with controlled nods to space-aged simplicity. Neither Judy nor Jane Jetson made their way onto his runway though, as he offered a far more nuanced take on the final frontier. It was about curvilinear silhouettes and surface treatments that invoked the cragged texture of rare ores. His devotees in the audience erupted in applause for a spectral passage of channel-constructed, fur chubbies; to get an idea, think of the “bubble-jacket” that Lee Radziwill might don in order to brave Park Avenue’s Nemo-gusts.
That’s where the practicality ended though, as Rucci’s imagination elevated simple shapes to fascinating, sculptural grandeur. The fantasy of it all was reinforced by the most intentionally “out-there” of accessories, Rucci’s lasso-tied pinky sheaths; imagine the chicest single-digit, plonge-leather Isotoner ever. Though those and his spectatored, clear-PVC boots had front-row attendees snapping away with their iPhones, it was Rucci’s brilliantly crafted apparel that had his clients mentally placing orders before the last look walked.