Ralph Rucci is truly unique and stands alone in the world of fashion. An exacting perfectionist (and I mean that in the best possible way) who applies a painstaking, almost excrutiating attention to detail (every single detail), he has a finely honed, singular and signature aesthetic that reflect the passions and loves of his life.
Thanks to his beloved world travels (to oft times exotic locates), he has emassed an enviable treasure trove, collected along the way. This includes important works of art and sculpture, some produced by his own hands (as an accomplished artist and sculptor himself, he has had a number of one man shows under his belt). Each and every one of his influences have been exhibited in every facet of his life, in a daily basis: from the way he lives, to the designs he creates. His environments (a fabulously appointed apartment on the upper east side and a fabulous soho atelier), are a testimony to this. Which is why, he was the perfect subject for the just released photographic autobiography, ‘Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci’, Ralph Rucci, photographs by Baldomero Fernandez, book design by Matthew Egan, published by Bauer and Dean (http://www.baueranddean.com/ ). With 288 pages, it is 11 1/4 X 11 1/2, includes over 250 pages of color photography, narratives behind twenty objects Rucci has collected in his lifetime, brief descriptions of Chado’s couturier techniques and staff portraits.
According to the publishing house, “he was chosen to represent fashion designers because of his unique approach to his trade. Rucci stands alone in the New York fashion scene for his attention to detail and couturier techniques. The amount of handwork involved in each finished garment is notable. As with the pattern books, the idea behind this series is to inspire the highest quality of handcraftsmanship.
|Inside Ralph’s workroom|
We were inspired to publish an autobiography series that looks at different trades through the eyes of one practitioner. Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci is the first in this series.” FYI, this book was inspired by Sol LeWitt’s Autobiography (1980), during the course of which, every aspect of the artist’s life and home, was captured through a descerning lens. Similarly, photographer Baldomero Fernandez takes us into Ralph’s private world: his closets, his possessions, his artwork, the workrooms in his soho atelier, the sketches, the bolts of fabric, and some images of the finished product (images of models who walked the runway during the course of several recent shows are captured not on the runway, but in candid shots taken in the hallways of the atelier).
|Ralph’s inspiration boards|
It was also quite fitting, given that Mr. Rucci is known for his sculptural, architectural designs, that the venue for the book signing party on Wednesday evening, was the unique and quite fabulous Paul Rudolph House (Mr. Rudolph, who passed away in 1997, was one of American’s leading architects in the 50’s and 60’s). As Mr. Rucci signed copies of the $195 collector’s item, he faced a glass wall leading out to a lush landscaped garden, and was surrounded by art, photography, and sculpture. Invited guests (including Marylou Luther, Steven Kolb, Georgette Mosbacher among others) milled freely around the 4 levels of the townhouse, nibbling on hors d’oeuvres, enjoying a glass of wine, and petting one adorable little bunny rabbit who had his own pet bunnies.
|Items Ralph has collected over the years|
By the way, when I received an email saying that due to the “overwhelming response” , the party had to be extended by one hour, I was hardly surprised, since Ralph is not only well respected and revered, but has legions of loyal fans. And I was certainly not one bit surprised, that many of those who showed up, were of course, clad in something black (what else?) by Ralph Rucci. I was lucky in that I had the perfect thing to wear, considering the weather was wet and warm: a Ralph Rucci textured black raincoat that looks like a fabulous evening coat, and is so special and superb, it never fails to elicit compliments whenever I wear it.
– Marilyn Kirschner