Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chado Ralph Rucci

 Last Friday I had the most amazing experience.  I went to visit the Chado Ralph Rucci atelier in Soho.  The showroom and work spaces are located at the very busy Broadway and Spring Street... a very unassuming front entrance and lobby (lots of remodeling going on), so much so, that I walked by it twice before finding it.  Anyway, a short ride to the 6th floor and .... Ahhhhhleluuuuuhiaaaaa! I'm here! Rosina Rucci (PR extraordinaire) escorts me right over to see Spring 2011 (just in time too, it's just about to start a trunk show tour, starting in Neiman Marcus / Dallas, November 9th and 10th, 10 am to 4 pm, in the couture salon).

 I'm blown away by the workmanship, and I speak from experience.  I can sew a pretty nice dress, but this was ... on a whole other level.  From the perfect top stitching, the seams that are far from traditional, perfect knots for buttons, horsehair sewn and embroidered so flawlessly, I'm speechless.  One by one, Rosina pulls each piece and lets me closely inspect them.

Oh wait a minute, I didn't tell you how incredibly cool the showroom is - One side is completely mirrored, then there are two sides filled with very neat lines of garment racks and above them are Ralph Rucci paintings.  He paints!  The front wall holds huge windows with cool linen drapes and three Asian (?) maybe Buddhist bust/mask (?)... hmmm... I'm only sure that there are three beautiful pieces of sculpture there.  The line between art gallery and workspace is really blurry.

OK back to the collection...  This collection is sculptural and for the cool cultured woman, who isn't following trends but wants beautiful clothes to live in..... and wants them to be classic enough to buck trends and remain chic year after year.  

These are my absolute favorites......

This horsehair and crepe skirt was really surprising.... hanging up it held it's shape and looked beautiful, but stiff.  When it was brought off the rack, it was very flirty and had a lot of movement. 

Speaking of movement, the cartridge pleats on the skirt of this dress are phenomenal (Cartridge pleats were popular during the 16th and 17th centuries and adorned both women's and men's clothing )! Clearly to get the heavenly movement of monastic robes worn by the clergy in the Renaissance period, hundreds of perfectly hand folded pleats must be sewn with a precision that I can not imagine.... took my breath away. God IS in the details. 

Close up of Pomodoro's Il Grande Disco

The Pomodoro Tailleur. This jacket is quintessential Ralph Rucci, inspired by art (Arnaldo Pomodoro), dimensional, and pushing a classic shape ever forward. Every angle of this jacket has so many dimensional surprises.... I felt like I could look 'into' the jacket, as if it were layers upon layers of fabric.  Very much like the work of Pomodoro.... an artist who creates a universe that invites you to peer inside.

The crowning jewel in this collection... the dress I could not stop thinking about is ...
The Tulle Pomodoro Infanta 
(... just take it in... I want this dress!)
To see the whole collection, click HERE

I was really inspired by all the blood sweat and tears that go into a Ralph Rucci Collection. And even though I haven't had my sewing machine out in years, I bought this Chado Ralph Rucci pattern (V1073) today.  I'll let you know how it goes in a future post.


  1. Wow.... Wasn't he also the first American to be voted into the French Society of Couturiers? I also love the way he translates fine art into his designs.

  2. Yes! John you are absolutely right, and it's been 29 years since his first full collection in 1981!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that we like your post so much that we've posted a link from the Vogue Patterns facebook page.
    Kathy Marrone
    Vogue Patterns

  4. Wow!!!! Thank you!!/pages/Vogue-Patterns/162123863798229

  5. I just found your blog today whilst searching for reviews of that pattern! Did you finish it? Can you post pictures of how it turned out? Thanks :)