02 February 2010
Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House documents the creation of Rucci's Spring 2008 ready-to-wear and Fall 2008 couture lines "delivering glimpses of Rucci's work ethic while capturing the generous, deeply collaborative creative process between the designer and his trusted team." For those unfamiliar with Rucci, he has been designing for over 25 years and launched Chado Ralph Rucci in 1994. In 2002, he was invited to show his collection in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture — the first American to receive such an invitation since Mainbocher in the 1930s. Chado Ralph Rucci garments are known for the precision of their construction, their sculptural look, and the innovative use of fabrics.
I love watching "behind-the-scenes" documentaries of veteran designers. There is always this sense of calmness and urgency, which is hard to attain. As much as I love Project Runway, I can't help but get caught up in their anxieties. It is refreshing to watch someone who is established and still humble regarding their work. For example, there is point in the film when he is describing why his label is called Chado Ralph Rucci and not just Ralph Rucci. His reasoning is that if it just read his name, then it would not accurately reflect all the work that went into the creation of a garment — a whole group of people would be left out since it's not just him responsible for the final collection.
One of my favorite scenes is when he is shows the viewer one of his weightless dresses made of lace, tulle and chiffon all covered with ostrich and vulture feathers. He pauses a moment after saying "vulture," calls one of his assistants over to make sure that they are not using the word vulture on the carnet, which are customs documents, and then kind of trails off to why not. Kind of sketchy but I love him so I will not judge plus a designer who is thinking about customs procedures? I'm all over that. Right after, he is so tickled to mention that there are women who actually buy these dresses. Real women, well as "real" as you can be with a collection of couture garments. He says its fascinating because people are writing checks for them to go to private homes instead of red carpets and he is genuinely proud of that.
photo cred: bryan bedder/getty images