Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Very Haute

Somehow, I was unaware of the prestigious Italian American designer Ralph Rucci when I was booked to do his show this season. When I mentioned him to my fashion friends, their enthusiastic response got me excited to do my research and find out how he earned his legendary status. A few key indicators: Ralph trained with Halston and Balenciaga before he launched his line, Chado Ralph Rucci, in 1994. Less than ten years later, he became the first American in 60 years to be invited to show his line in the elite couture shows in Paris. There is actually a commission there that upholds very specific guidelines for use of the term "couture", including the use of expensive fabrics and intricate, hand sewn details. While Rucci hasn't participated in the Parisian shows in the past couple years, the shapes, fabrics and techniques of his latest pieces show a strong connection to his luxurious roots.

The makeup was created by another legendary artist, Tom Pecheux, who has worked with the top photographers, designers and celebrities for many years. He had a wonderful energy and I loved the look he designed. We used a deep grey eyeshadow on the outer corners of the eyes, bringing it straight out to a point. Then we cut and layered two sets of false lashes on the top and bottom lash line to intensify and exaggerate the drama! The look was inspired by the structural feel of the clothing and worked perfectly.

One of my girls, Calvin of Russia

Ah, the hair was soo cooool! Created by Bumble & Bumble, the "melted chignons" also complimented Rucci's shapely collection. Super shiny and slicked with some serious gel, one of my models was complaining about having to run home to wash it all out before a date that evening! I wished her luck ;)

My other girl, Emma just moved here from Australia...it's her first time in NYC!

Ralph Rucci's line is named Chado, after a Japanese tea ceremony known for it's attention to precision and discipline. His affinity for Japanese style and culture is present throughout his collections.

These funky cuff/gloves were one of my favorite details. Although you can't see this too well in the picture, they were made of a clear plastic and extended from the wrist to the knuckles, with openings for the fingers and thumb.
Now I know all about Ralph!

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