Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ralph Rucci - Haute Couture American Style

Fashion Television can be a bit hit and miss, similar to H&M. Occasionally a real gem will pop up and you are not sure how you had previously done without it. Some of the time it seems that there are reports on everything else except fashion!

The other day I discovered a real gem; Chado Ralph Rucci, designed by Ralph Rucci, with the name chado coming from the Japanese word for tea ceremony, translating to an attention to detail and simplicity. After doing a bit of research, I also discovered that Ralph Rucci has been the first American since Mainbocher in the 1930’s invited to Paris to the Haute Couture shows.

Judging by his last ready to wear collection for Fall/Winter 2009, the invitation to the haute couture showings in Paris is justified. Models paraded down the catwalk in exquisitely cut clothes, that were not only easy to wear, but stunning in their conception. Although a rather somber collection, devoid of colour except for a few exceptions, the clothes were beautiful. They had a hard geometric edge, which was disconcerting at first, but then taken into context on the model’s body, the outfits metamorpasized
into feminine outfits without the frills and the bows that other designers rely on for femininity.

Techniques used were brilliant. The seamless transitions from hard wools to transparent chiffons as in the dress below, left one wondering how they were achieved by mere mortals.

Some outfits had an almost Balenciaga feel about them, from a time when Balenciaga himself ruled Paris fashion in the 50’s and 60’s. The barrel shaped jacket on the suit below although looking deceptively simple, would have taken hours of calculation to get just right.

Evening wear flowed and moved with the wearer creating a wonderful picture of pattern and texture. Flowing chiffons were screen printed with sculpture from the ancient world that came to life when the model walked down the catwalk.

All in all a fabulous collection, with very few outfits that I didn’t like, that crosses the bridge between pret a porter and haute couture, with very little effort.

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