Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ralph Rucci at FIT

(credit: - Chado Ralph Rucci collection - Spring '07)

Ann (Gorgeous Things) and two of the other Sewing Divas - Gigi & Phyllis were in NYC last month and went to see the Ralph Rucci exhibit at FIT. Their adventure reminded me that I had planned on seeing this exhibit but hadn't yet made the trip. So yesterday, my daughter and I went into the city to see the exhibit. And it was absolutely fantastically, amazing!

Of course the clothing was awesome....I mean c'mon its Ralph Rucci. However, the idea that stayed with me even after leaving the museum, was how he embraced his vision and remained true to it. One of the wall plaques in the exhibit stated that Rucci knew his evening gowns were so couture that they wouldn't be worn on the red carpet and that he did more busness in daywear and suits. Even though he understood this, he continued to design evening wear that reflected his vision. Those words really struck me.

Then there were the clothes...
The exhibit opens with a white doublefaced wool jacket that is embroidered with words. The jacket is paired with a pair of chocolate brown leather pants that has words printed onto the leather. I stood at this outfit for a while looking at the attention to detail. The words on the jacket were only on the jacket fronts - not the sides and only a single layer of words ran down the center of each sleeve. It was astounding how the two pieces were placed together, the type of fabric used and the embellishment technique. It made me want to run right home and start sewing.

The next outfit that stayed with me was a jacket and skirt made from double faced wool (which he uses alot) that had pieced inserts on the jacket front and sleeves and also inserted into the matching skirt. The entire outfit looked to me like felted wool jersey and of course, my mind rocketed back to the bag of felted wool jersey scraps I have been holding on to.

I mention those two outfits specifically because they struck an inspirational chord within me...something I could come home and replicate in my own wardrobe. That is not to say that there weren't some other amazing outfits in this exhibit. He uses alot of wonderfully rich and luxurious fabrics. He uses interesting and different embellishment techniques. His attention to detail is amazing and it is hard to describe his construction details without tripping over superlatives.

As we were leaving the exhibit, there was a glass case that held one of Rucci's small sketch books opened to a page showing a sketch he had made, a fabric swatch and some notes. My daughter noticed it first and motioned me over. We both just stared because it looked exactly like the notebook that was in my bag! And if I had opened it, there would have been a page with a sketch, a fabric swatch and some notes...that was so thrilling to me!

(credit: - Chado Ralph Rucci - Spring 2005 collection)

So what did I take away from the exhibit:

1. Hold tight to your own vision and incorporate it into the clothing you make.

2. Don't be afraid to experiment with color, texture and design.

3. Details, details, details ~ the care he took with the details many times made the garment!

4. Don't go anywhere without my sketchbook!

If you can get to New York City before April 14th when the exhibit ends, please plan to spend some time at The Museum @ FIT visiting the Ralph Rucci Exhibit ~ "the Art of Weightlessness." It's free so there is no reason not to go!

(credit: - Chado Ralph Rucci Fall 2005 RTW Collection)

And if you won't make it to NYC before then, you can see his Fall '07 collection here and his Spring '07 collection here. All outfits pictured in this post are shown in the exhibit.

1 comment:

  1. That was such an inspirational exhibit. I could have spent hours there. And it was fun to go during the week when we did because there were some groups of students with a professor who was talking about the clothing and construction. Definitely a must see!


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