|Ralph Rucci: the Art of Weightlessness|
New Haven, CT: Yale UP, c2007.
Today's feature is an exhibition catalogue with more than 150 images and essays by Valerie Steele, Patricia Mears, and Clare Sauro. It's called Ralph Rucci: the Art of Weightlessness, and is an oversize hardcover book. Just as elaborate and expensive as his clothing requires!
There are three essays about his beginnings and way of working, his techniques and artistry, and a finisher talking about accessories.
Interspersed are large photos of some of the garments mentioned, and those which show off the specific techniques he is known for. I found it worked very well together -- the images are so large and close up that you really gain an understanding of how his ideas and theories come to life in actual cloth. Books are good for this - going in depth and giving you the time to really examine the ideas and images.
I was taken with the way his process was described -- based in intellectual concepts and then brought to fruition in cooperation with the fabric:
"I would close the door if I had to use synthetics," he says. "We have to allow the fabric to speak and synthetics do not have a wonderful vocabulary. When you hear the sound of a faille or the whoosh of taffeta or the oomph of a cashmere or the ahh of a chiffon, there is such mystery! And if you really hear it, the fabric tells you what to do."
This is the first in-depth book looking at Rucci's career, really astonishing considering he was the first American since Mainbocher to be invited to show at the Paris Haute Couture shows. I think you'll understand why after getting a look inside his process, goals, techniques, and exquisite garments.
You can view the entire exhibit celebrating 25 years of Ralph Rucci at the FIT Museum here
And you can also watch Rucci walking through the exhibit with Valerie Steele here.
So now after reading all of this about Ralph Rucci, and seeing his clothes in detail, I'm both inspired and intimidated by my stack of Ralph Rucci patterns for Vogue! But perhaps I'll get to one in 2022. Have you made any Ralph Rucci Vogue patterns? If so, any tips?