Ralph Rucci, who left his longtime 7 th avenue showroom this past summer, and headed down to Soho (highly appropriate since the designer is a talented painter and sculptor, and is always influenced by the artwork of such modern legends as Cy Twombly). He eventually wants to use this new large space as a venue to stage his collections, but alas, that was not to be this time (maybe next season). Regardless of where he shows, the audience is always in for a treat (made even more so, since his shows are traditionally the last- or next to the last) of each season. This time, he cited “the application of techniques inspired by tortoiseshell quadrants, scarification, sfumato, wigs, and Varvara Ryzhova” as inspiration for fall 2006, presented right before highlights from spring 2006 haute couture.
It was one of Ralph’s most textural and tactile to date and had the audience enraptured. This is one show where sitting in the front row is a necessity in order to truly appreciate the magnificent workmanship and craft that goes into the pieces. Among my favorite items were the black lambskin jacket intricately textured to resemble tortoiseshell; the knee length belted trench coat with matching narrow pants in a print that resembled camouflage; the barguzin sable tent shaped ankle length coat shown beneath a cane leather cage; the knee length silk velvet coat printed in an oversized tortoise pattern with black leather side insets.
Ralph is always a master when it comes to working his magic on deceivingly simple wool jersey- perfect examples this season are the navy wool jersey midcalf dress with beautifully layered sleeves, the short sleeved empire waist moss green wool jersey dress with alligator inset, and three black beauties – one, in black jersey and gazar was decorated with duchesse satin oversized discs on the bodice, and the other two featured very sheer, narrow long sleeved tops (with insets that were geometrically and strategically placed) - one had a flared knee length skirt and other was floor length with a dramatic train in back.