A word from André Leon Talley
Ralph Rucci is one of the last American masters of true refinement.
His world is rare; he lives to express the highest standards of quality and luxury through his beautiful designs for women. There are, at every turn, elements of the unexpected — be it bold brushstrokes, inspired by an artist, an ancient statue, or a dancer from Pina Bausch. He understands exactly what makes a raincoat something more than a practical item to protect from the elements. In his world, a raincoat is something to embellish with hand-painted motifs, or line with the finest silks or warm fur. The exotic opulence of Orientalism pervades every collection, yet he makes it distinctively his own signature. At the same time, he is one of the few designers who can, by process of elimination, create a silhouette so pure, so sustained, you are in awe of the person wearing the design.
Rucci, who comes from a family background as far away as the world of Paris haute couture, achieved his dream and has shown his collections in Paris. He is a dreamer. His clothes are magnificent and, quite often, they evoke an imperious air of confidence that is rare in today's world of fashion.
I have always admired the way Ralph Rucci creates line and form, and intricate and nuanced details in a jacket or the side of a simple black dress of the most fluid fabric. As an American, he is original and takes bold risks in his universe of powerful and dramatic shapes.
To honor his work is to recognize the special niche he holds in modern American fashion history.