Ralph Rucci Chado
January 22, 2003 Paris
Sometimes criticized for heavy-handedness in his search for sculptural volumes, the designer lightened up for Spring. Funnel-necked jackets, raincoats and rounded, caped shapes, achieved with circular and elliptical piecing, displayed both intellectual rigor and wearability. Rucci’s obsession with Japanese tradition (the Chado tag refers to the tea ceremony) came out this season in some looped stylings derived from the obi. What worked as a graceful back detail in a jacket, however, created an unfortunate monobosom effect when added to the front of a gown.
In truth, Rucciwho doesn’t do sexy or girlystruggled to make his evening looks work. His daywear, on the other hand, was a rarity that stands out on a European runway. Blending propriety and luxury, it’s just the thing for that modern breed of CEO-class women who want discretion and presence in their clothes.