Ralph Rucci Speaks!

(Stephanie Murg 0909a).jpg
All photos: UnBeige

Last Friday, 2008 National Design Award winner Ralph Rucci ended New York Fashion Week with a black silk tulle bang. Inspired in part by the work of Mark Rothko, Rucci’s dazzling spring 2009 collection (pictured above, in photos that don’t do the garments justice) experimented with texture and transparency, structure and weightlessness, drama and restraint—continuums that both characterize his oeuvre and propel it forward. Crafted in luxe, often double-faced fabrics ranging from silk faille and wool crepe to pailette-studded fishnet and silver mylar, the 51 looks that Rucci sent down the runway had all the hallmarks of haute couture, although Friday’s show was in fact his first exclusively ready-to-wear presentation in some time.

How does Rucci manage to make us crave cerise silk radzimir in a world of distressed denim? How does he instinctively know that a sprinkling of rocaille beading is all a black evening dress needs to go from beautiful to breathtaking? What does his design process, which he has described as “metaphysical,” entail? Find out tomorrow, when Rucci sits down for a chat with artist and photographer Iké Udé, founder and editor-in-chief of aRUDE magazine, at New York City’s 92nd Street Y. This is the first event of the 92nd Street Y’s “Dialogues with Design Legends” series curated by design historian Daniella Ohad Smith. Next month, architect Peter Eisenman will be interviewed by Greg Lynn and Kurt Forster, and in November, Milton Glaser takes the stage to talk with Stephen Doyle and Paul Stirton.