Monday, February 11, 2013

New York Fashion Week Notes

Ralph's Purple 'Reign'

Fall 2013 Chado Ralph Rucci violet wool jersey dress and clear plastic boots

All of us who have come to know and love Ralph Rucci, look forward to his runway shows, and to the exemplary consistency which is on view (the innovative techniques, the unrivaled workmanship, the meticulous attention to detail) as he continues to hone in on his craft. But we have also come to know that we will be surprised from one season to the next. Fall 2013, presented last evening at The Theatre at Lincoln Center, touched upon all of Ralph's signatures, but was also was quite pared down, and had a beautiful lightness. There were the superb wool jersey and wool crepe dresses and suits, the bonded cashmere coats, the feather trims, the bugle beads, the silk faille raincoats, the chiffons, matelasses and gazars, and tulle insets.

Fall 2013 Ralph Rucci black wool crepe dress

Black leather (which has been seen all over) was used throughout, but often, in surprising ways. A fabulously shaped black leather skirt suit opened the show (the skirt was edged in tulle); one dress combined black leather and jersey - another, black leather, lace, and cashmere. And in a few instances, leather was embroidered, which gave it an amazing texture and made it basically unrecognizable as leather. In addition to elegant high heeled slingbacks, there were fierce high heeled black boots that teasingly laced up the back of the leg, as well as clear, see through plastic boots that were piped with the color of the ensemble they were shown with. Both were unapologetically 'kinky', but in an elegant way..

Fall 2013 Ralph Rucci zurino coat
(Photo: Udor Photography)

Paillettes were woven and were used as a tunic, a twin set, an elongated tube dress, and a short feather trimmed dress. As for furs (all by Ralph Rucci for Pologeorgis), a naturally graphic Zurino (skunk) coat could not have looked more of the moment, shown over a white jumpsuit; luxurious Barguzine Sable was 'thrown' over a 'wool crepe uniform', and sable was also unexpectedly shown in combination with vinyl and in one instance, latex. A white mink jacket, and a black mink coat were trimmed with feathers, and a group of horizontally worked mink jackets and coats came out as a group, in crowd pleasing citrus, shocking pink, chrome yellow, and violet. And speaking of violet, apparently Ralph is taken with the shade, as it showed up throughout the collection (standouts include the violet wool jersey dress accessorized with clear plastic boots; the violet lace pajama; the violet cashmere halter gown; and the violet double face wool gown with insets ended the show).

Fall 2013 Ralph Rucci knitted pailette dress with feathers
(Photo: Udor Photography)

 But if it can be said that nobody does color quite like Ralph (his hues are saturated and expensive looking), then the same thing can be said about his effective use of black. Because black is simply a classic, timeless, and forever, and the perfect foil for his amazing techniques and workmanship, I felt that the strongest pieces were those done in black. Not the least of which are what have to be the best little (and not so little) black dresses shown on any runway. Right before the show, I was reading the interview with Lee Radziwell in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and one of her quotes stuck with me, and seemed very apropos here: "The essence of great design is something simple and original that stays in the mind forever."

Fall 2013 Ralph Rucci violet lace tunic and pants

By the way, every detail was flawless, down to Tom Pecheux's makeup, and Laurent Philippon for bumble and bumble's sculptural updos (aerodynamical feats I might add), which worked perfectly with Ralph's architectural designs. And I loved that the only accessories used, other than the shoes and boots, were Samantha Nguyen's "gloves". They only covered a few fingers and were actually long cords that wrapped around each models' wrist, and ended with a single feather.

-Marilyn Kirschner

THE DAILY BET - by Rhonda Erb

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