Ralph Rucci celebrated his 25th anniversary in business last month with a retrospective at the Museum at FIT. It's quite possible that many of the pieces in tonight¿s show are destined for museum collections of their own, so remarkable is his workmanship and extravagant the embellishments. Rucci isn¿t content to cut a suit in copper double-face cashmere; both jacket and skirt are overstitched in gently arcing swirls of bas-relief. And a series of dresses from his Spring Couture collection, which constituted the second portion of this stately affair, were embroidered with curving shapes straight out of a Louise Nevelson collage.

Perhaps with an eye to his next quarter century, Rucci¿s loftiest creations were balanced by pieces with a rather more youthful appeal. Take, for instance, a natural Mongolian lamb chubby striped across its center with chocolate brown, or the beige chinchilla spiral jacket intercut with cognac leather macramé. It was easy to picture either of them draped over the shoulders of one of the fur-loving socials swanning about during fashion week. But the likeliest contender for the youth vote was a dress that fell in smoky tiers of organza to the floor, free of all embellishments save for a jewel suspended like a secret from a delicate back strap. For all that, if Rucci really wants to put a new generation under his couturier spell, he'll have to trim his overlong presentation, change the music, and lighten up the hair and makeup.