Bernadine was for 30 years the senior fashion writer for The New York Times. Look for her "Ten Best Looks of the Season" trend report right here next week.
New York shows came to a brilliant conclusion Friday night by having Chado Ralph Rucci present the last collection. It had all the glamour of the best French couture shows. The workmanship was unbelievable. Even the atmosphere in the hall was restrained, appreciative. It was a handsome gesture and it gave the New York showings a grand finale.
There were other good things in the week-long presentation. Michael Vollbracht showed he was ready to take over the Bill Blass collection. Michael Kors proved that sportswear was still a workable and necessary field. Diane von Furstenberg indicated there was more in her repertory than the wrap dress she had based her success in decades ago, "She called her collection Working Girl and wrote somewhat charmingly that she always wanted to live a man' s life." Ralph Lauren defended his preference for casual clothes with a tribute to "a modern shooting party" and Donna Karan opened up some of her dresses with loose backs that seemed comfortable and sophisticated.
No, the season wasn't a total loss, but it took Mr.Rucci to put fashion on its highest plane.