Ralph Rucci continued his trek into modernized territory for Spring/Summer 2014, much to the pleasant surprise of both neophytes and octogenarians alike (as for the latter, there were plenty seated front row, all fabulously bedecked in the mainstay’s greatest hits from the last 30 years). Rucci’s silhouettes tight-roped the sinews between the designer’s first-gen clients and next-gen admirers–a sparkling, tangerine paillette cardigan for his Upper East Side’s doyennes, and a holographic, shelled mini-dress for his growing downtown contingency.
The show opened with a series of vaguely Ann Demeulemeester-esque separates, such as a semi-diaphanous top over tuxedo pants, flanked by trailing ribbons of satin. But that fluidity and borderline masculinity soon transformed into a powerhouse trope through dynamically rarefied, clean, and, at times, downright delectable clothing. A bronze jersey dress, with a crocheted mini-harness at the bust might satisfy one customer while another–arctic white but with thousands of tiered fiber-optic cables, flinging rainbow barbs with jellyfish-like grace–may very well attract another. And as for those grand old dame’s of Manhattan’s highest echelons, Rucci gave them plenty to consider: a shimmering pewter overcoat, textured but conservative, and a tulle and crepe blouse blocked in timelessly chic panels. A note on tulle–Rucci employed loads of it, almost hauntingly so with water-stain prints in see-through, gathered blousons.