Return of The King

Chado Raplh Rucci SPring 2009
Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2009

CHADO- He is back and in fighting form- on Friday night Ralph Rucci closed New York Fashion Week with all the fanfare and warm embrace of the returned prodigal son. Rucci is a prodigious talent and while he is often lost in the minutiae of the New York fashion set, his work stands as a testament to his great talent. As the world of haute couture skirts dangerously close to oblivion it is important that we uphold one of our most brilliant haute courtiers.

I must admit that I am partially biased; I have long been a Rucci enthusiast. For Spring ’09 Rucci sent out a strong line up of clothing suitable for every occasion- from smart day wear to gripping evening gowns. The couturier crystallized those hallmark Ruccisms and move them into a more approachable direction. He showed continued mastery over the art of construction.

Chado is a meditation on form, line and structure. Each season many designers attempt to redesign the wheel, but Rucci instead continues an exploration of his signature shapes enlisting new applications and techniques. Bold shoulders seemed particularly new for the designer who is known for a more gentle approach towards the shoulder and décolleté. He used various types of artistic fringe to great affect, inciting riotous applause as models turned on the runway to reveal the insets of fringe. Illusion with geometric cut outs were a strong motif in this season’s line up. The cutouts appeared on a tulle coat over an A-line dress and on a black sheer top paired with slouchy black satin trousers. Other moments of decadent indulgence included the gowns with Rothko inspired paielletes or the slinky floor length sequins skirt with sheer top and matching jacket.

Spring 09 marked a departure for Rucci who seemed to be courting a younger generation of fashion intellectuals. Though at moments the collection showed the wavering uncertainty of a babe horse gaining her sea legs, Rucci has the talent to address a younger audience and his Spring collection suggests the beginning this new courtship. The collection was proliferated with a plethora of coquettish dresses that remain true to the spirit of Chado. Rucci was careful to remain mindful of his faithful followers offering intriguing pant suits with jackets of rounded shoulders with detailing on tulle or crepe. This collection was an exercise in restrains and what I expect will be the blossoming of a new point of view at the house of Chado.

Welcome back Ralph!

A. Coelho

Photos by Stevyn Llewellyn