February 10, 2005 New York
That ardor was wholly deserved, for the workmanship of the clothesparticularly an aubergine alligator coat with insets, and a freshwater-pearl-embroidered bodicewas breathtaking. The first American to be asked to present couture in Paris, Rucci had to cancel his show there this season, but closed today with 15 looks that would have appeared during the spring couture.
Rucci described the theme of the collection as "suspense, in both senses of the word," and it was true: Almost every look was pieced and hung back together with Calder-like precision. Highlights included a black crepe dress with insets; a suede-back golden sable coat, worn open and belted (the designer's luxe take on the puffer); an Empire dress and wrap, beaded after a Franz Kline painting; and a gown with an alligator torso that fell over a fuller underskirt constructed of a shower of quarter-size paillettes. Never mind the red carpetthis dress deserved an Oscar of its own.