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Style Crush:

April 15, 2012

Ralph Rucci Reigns at SCAD this May

Fashion designer Ralph Rucci To Receive SCAD’s prestigious André Leon Tally Award May 19

By Nancy Staab

The couture designer, the first American designer to be invited to show his couture in Paris in 60 years, will appear in person to accept the André Leon Talley award at SCAD-Savannah’s annual, senior fashion runway show May 19

Designer Ralph Rucci's fashion and art works Designer Ralph Rucci's fashion and art works

American fashion designer and artist Ralph Rucci of Chado Ralph Rucci label is a designer’s designer. He may not have mass name recognition but his works have been the feature of numerous museum exhibits [The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, De Young Museum in San Franciso, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, etc.], books [The Art of Weightlessness penned by Fashion Institute of Techonology’s Valerie Steele and Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci, which depicts everything from his closet to the contents of his fridge and the TV remotes displayed on an elegant silver tray] and films, including the 2008 documentary Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House.  In 2002 Rucci became the first American designer in 60 years to be invited to show in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (the only other American designer to receive this honor was Mainbocher!).

Ralph Rucci Ralph Rucci

Rucci is known for his exquisite attention to detail, sculptural cuts, luxurious fabrics and furs, a limited palette, and aesthetic purity. Indeed, his label Chado references the austerity and preciseness of a very ritualized and aestheticized Japanese tea ceremony. Rucci is also a noted artist and is just as likely to cite artists like Cy Twombly (Rucci even named his dog Twombly), Matthew Barney and Francis Bacon as inspirations as fashion designers like James Galanos, Madame Gres and Christobal Balenciaga. There is both romanticism and restraint in Rucci’s fashion designs and his paintings. As fashion critic Robin Givhan extolls in The Washington Post, “Rucci’s clothes are aspirational in every sense of the word. They ooze luxury from 100 places, yet they are not ostentatious. They look expensive because every seam is perfect, every button placed exactly, every skirt has just the right lift.”

Besides fashion and art, the multi-talented Rucci has also created furniture designs for Holly Hunt. Rucci will accept the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from SCAD President Paula Wallace and Vogue editor André Leon Talley at 8PM, May 19 at the SCAD-Savannah senior fashion show. Past recipients of the award have included: Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Diane von Furstenberg, John Galliano and Manolo Blahnik.Rucci's fashions will also be on display in the Andre Leon Talley costume gallery of the new SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah.

Also: look out for color and graphic fashion designs by standout SCAD-Atlanta senior fashion student Sarah Butler at the May fashion show. Her 2012 SCAD Style Mentor was Raul Melgoza of Luca Luca and she also interned for Target. Butler was recently one of four students in the nation to be awarded a $30,000 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. 

Tickets, which go on sale May 1, are $20 for the general public, $10 with SCAD ID for the 4 p.m. event. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $50 for the general public, $25 with SCAD ID. Vogue's Talley will also host a fashion conversation wtih Rucci and Pulitzer-Prize-Winning fashion journalist Robin Givhan Sat. May 19 at 2:30PM at the SCAD Museum of Art.  For more info and tickets, visit


Fall and Spring Rucci fashions 2011 and 2012 Fall and Spring Rucci fashions 2011 and 2012