By Alexander Patino
POSTED September 14, 2011
Standing Ovation for Ralph Rucci’s New Age and 80s Nostalgia
Standing Ovation for Ralph Rucci’s Mixed Bag of New Age and 80s Nostalgia

Much like Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaia, another fashion legend who has been seeing something of a comeback
this year,
Chado Ralph Rucci has always done things his way. Rucci returned to the tents this season for his 30th
with one of the most applauded collections of the week. Also, like Mr. Alaia, Rucci’s is not a brand that
depends much on the fashion parade. His fans are legion and above all, loyal. Although his sprawling 56 look
collection did toy with seemingly fresh ideas (the plastic insets most notably) one couldn’t help but feel moments of an
antiquated and new age tug-and-pull at work.

As against the grain as some of the silhouettes appeared – that opening white neoprene coat with a faille skirt, for
example – the show still felt like predominantly like a time warp. A white heavy wool coat with black circles took us back
to 1981, when Ralph Rucci had just gotten started. Add the slicked back hair and smoky eye and the whole feeling
started to border on
Duran Duran.

Sometimes that old-school Ralph Rucci feel and the actual call for a modern note came together harmoniously, like in
a nude caviar beaded catsuit that scintillated under a nude gazar feathered tunic. That piece garnered one of the three
isolated moments of applause at the show. It wasn’t a complete 80s extravaganza though.
A black caviar beaded blouson dress, as well as a silver pailette tunic and skirt offered a more smartly calibrated marriage of roaring 20s for the 2011 crowd.

Still, not without a sound sense of showmanship, Rucci sent out two real jaw-droppers towards the end of the run – the final look, a white horsehair infanta gown, which carried the tried and
true Rucci DNA straight down to that glorious train and a few garments before that – a white beaded fringe dress. The 20s are already shaping up to be a major trend for this upcoming
spring and it’s the freshest note in Rucci’s vast offering. As interesting as the plastic work appeared, especially in those kinky plastic knuckle-gloves, it’s not a revolutionary idea. At the end,
Whoopi Goldberg, Andre Leon Talley and all those in the theater joined in giving Rucci, who will finally get his plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame in October a wild standing ovation.