Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2013 Collection

Posted on September 11, 2012


It’s an experience going to a Chado Ralph Rucci show. America’s only certified couturier, he remains stubbornly disinterested in trends, fashion magazines, and red carpets. It’s always and forever about the work, and about applying the meticulously impeccable standards of couture. Frankly, we’re amazed we get invited to this show at all, but we’re deeply honored by it.

We’ve tried to shy away from using this phrase too much in our Fashion Week reportage, but kittens? You really had to be there. Clothes like these look entirely different in person, and even from several rows away, one can see how each garment hangs differently and moves differently due to the use of first class textiles and the employment of old world techniques.”Impeccable” doesn’t even come close to describing these garments. “Flawless” works, but it’s such an overused word (by us especially) that even that doesn’t quite capture it. Put simply, each one of these looks was walking perfection down that runway. Absolutely breathtaking. And it’s a shame, because that mirrored runway and backdrop pretty much ruin the effect in pictures.



[Photo Credit: GoRunway]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Catiline

    This is what I’m talking ABOUT.  Wow.  Honestly I find them breathtaking even as still photos.

  • I have such unalloyed respect for Mr Rucci and his astonishing work. Doing what he loves, and doing it to the utmost of his skills, is continually inspirational to me. This collection is staggeringly lovely, both in conception, and execution. Thanks T and Lo for sharing him with us. I am Seriously Envious that you got to go. Sigh.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    That color pink is making my eyes roll up in my head, it’s so pure & beautiful. I love this collection.

  • RzYoung

    I think you’re selling the photos short, they look pretty incredible from where I’m sitting, they must be wonderful in the flesh

  • PinkLemon

    I think I can see what you mean about it being better in person, even going from watching an episode of PR to seeing the photos on here, I can see a difference there, too. Interesting. Love this collection!

  • lovelyivy

    I wasn’t blown away until I reached the third row. Then everything after that is incredible. Knowing that it is EVEN BETTER in person makes me long to see it. Le sigh.

    • j_anson

      Had exactly the same impression. It starts slow, but it ends up lovely.

  • lilibetp

    I love that pink jacket and white slacks.

    • Me too!  I think that jacket is sublime!  

    • DesertDweller79

       Me too!

  • meowing

    I’ll use the hackneyed “I’d wear that.”  For this big-armed girl, love the sleeves, even for Spring.  Lovely looks, very feminine but not sweetie-sweetie.  Well done.

  • Sobaika

    That feathered number, second-to-last row in the middle, is both really lovely and alive. Beautiful work.

    • Sartorial_She

      That’s my favorite as well, by far. If only I had more occasions in my life on which to wear feathers!!

  • alyce1213

    I’m full-out swooning.  Each is more exquisite and interesting than the next.  This has already made my day.  Thank you.

  • bookish

    I LOVE that black dress with the stripes along the bottom…three row from the bottom, left side.

    • My favourite too, simple perfection, I actually love the ones that are a solid neutral ‘interrupted’ by colour, like beautiful wounds almost. This is a great collection.

  • It reminds me of ODLR in that it’s just all incredibly well-designed and beautiful. No gimmicks, no gaudiness, just plain old-fashioned gorgeousness. Love it.

  • Love the use of color.

  • sweet_potato


  • Judy_S

    Glorious. Now that yellow dress is a tutu-inspired gown that transcends the genre–take a look, Mr. Siriano!

  • Wow. That collection should be in a museum. It’s stunning. 

    • formerlyAnon

      I’m sure that someday it will be! 😀

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    That hot pink suit on that dark-skinned model? Incredible. These are fierce, beautiful, fabulous clothes. A surprisingly funky aesthetic, too.

    • imspinningaround

      I literally gasped when I got to her.

  • i’m a boy but i’d love to wear that white and yellow dress

  • FASHION! This is all so gorgeous.

  • Elaine Lang

    So often, when a collection is a work of art, it is also full of clothing that is too conceptual and experimental to actually work as a garment.  

    Not this one.   Almost every look here could be worn by women of MANY shapes and sizes with little-to-no “adaptation” for RTW.  

    And, if Mr. Rucci wants to send me the gauzy layered trousers and simple white dress with the elbow sleeves, I’d be delighted to demonstrate that fact by wearing them regularly as I go about my mundane daily life.  

    MOST ELEGANT MOM AT THE PTA EVER, that would be me.

    • anniehall502

       those are my two favorites too!

  • Can I have the outfit on the right of the first row?! I could werq that so well.

  • This is a beautiful collection.. I especially love the sci-fi hooker waitress third from bottom in center.

    • She is fierce. And also, TITSCREPANCY. What on earth is going on there, ladygirl.

  • j_anson

    I actually think these are lovely, though agreed that they’re not particularly, what, avant garde? and it seems true that the background isn’t ideal. But that white dress with the thin sheer strips in the middle of the fourth row is beautiful.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      almost all the avant garde stuff these days is just old. or, better: trite. this stuff is certainly not that. it’s referenced, certainly, but it holds its own amid the references. very nice, this.

      • j_anson

        You know, it’s funny, sometimes I do wonder if we’ve just already found all the stuff you can do with a human body that is both a) novel and b) actually attractive. So designers have a choice between doing stuff that’s new but ugly, or putting their own spin on something that’s been done, but is attractive.

        • holdmewhileimnaked

          i agree w/ almost all of this–i started thinking about the conundrum of what has been done artistically, formwise, vs what there is left to do, oh heavens, back before grad school–way before grad school. at least way before in the manner of how years seem much longer, much more sodden w/ individual significance when you havent yet seen so many of them.

          i still think theres stuff to do that hasnt been discovered. even in form. but i think people in the arts are working w/in a very strictured box these days. w/ gaga & all that it doesnt seem like it but it’s true. of course what bothers me most about the gaga box is that i easily know her direct & uncredited sources [in fact some of those, ah, sources {read: far less known people from the recent past who actually created the stuff for which she takes credit} i know personally]. but the other annoying thing w/ her is that there’s kind of a metaphoric rigid clear plastic carton around her–neither wide nor tall nor, in particular, forgiving. inside here are all the virtual things that might directly apply to her specific watered down ken. & that ken of a kennel is the centrepoint around which all current avant-gardiness must, so does, orbit.

          i hope i’m making sense. i’m trying. we all knew crazyspouse was really sick–but i, at least, was so used to his endless vitality, say, that it never would quite go into my head that he might, would actually die. i’m still in shock so, apologies, still not operating at full mast, or whatever it’s called. it takes time.

          anyway, i hope i made some sense. i really do. this kind of thought possesses my mind at most, less devastating points. i almost never hear anything like it discussed, not here, not anywhere, so i try & give it a good read when i can. right now, though, i gotta go back to work. it’s hard.

          • formerlyAnon

            Your thoughts on art are always interesting to me since I’ve never been a serious student thereof.

            Condolences for your loss. A big personality leaves a big hole when they are gone, no matter whether you see it coming or not. I hope there is enough ritual to carry you through, ritual beyond all the weirdly practical details that accompany the death of a family member.

            I cannot lie, when you went silent for a while I wondered if perhaps you had fallen seriously ill even beyond interest in the Internet (gasp) & I am happy that was not the reason.

          • holdmewhileimnaked

            thank you.

            it’s easy to write this stuff, takes me away from what i cant think about. i am more grateful for peoples concern than they could ever know.

          • oohsparkley!

            I’m so sorry for your heartache and loss.  I always look forward to your educational and insightful posts.

          • Qitkat

            What a devastating loss for you. I’m so sorry. Clearly you have often written here through pain, I’m guessing physical, mental, emotional, psychic, and yet continued to express yourself in a very unique and informed beyond the usual way. What an odd little community we have here, those of us who choose to share, really intimate strangers, yet I truly feel sad for you, a fellow soul navigating this  

    • Linda Scott

      with minor modifications that white dress could be a Cathy-Cambridge-takes-it-up-a-notch smash 

  • ooopsnevermind

    Love the white dress in the middle of row 4. Btw also great upgrade to your mobile theme, guys! This is a huge improvement, liking it a lot for the addition of thumbnail images in particular to your posts on the homepage. Looks cleaner and easier to use in general.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    Yummy colors!  🙂

  • Lilithcat

    Fabulous!  I am in love with the “painted” pieces particularly.  And that black gown with the bright underlayer – wow.  Oh, heck, pack it all up and send it to me.

    • poggi

       Me too.  I love that black gown with the bright underskirts.

    • EEKstl

      Me three!  Obsessed!

    • peppepp

      I think one of those painted pieces needs to have a date with Cate Blanchett immediately if not sooner.

  • The long white and yellow dress is STUNNING. My mouth dropped open when I saw it. The whole collection is lovely, but that’s the one that put it over the top for me. 

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    the best thing you’ve published posted [sorry, i’m still just beat] from this season’s fashion week.

    • alyce1213

      It may well be the best of the year.

  • AlexisPayne

    The black dress with the orange band at the bottom, I want, I want that more than anything else I’ve seen during FW.

  • Almost all of these pieces are lovely in their simplicity, sleek silhouettes, and interesting colors and prints. The jackets and the printed and colorblocked pieces are my favorites.

    Though, I don’t like the pink pants with the tie at the waist. They’re way “done” and unoriginal. 

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      they are soooo 1979. but i dont think anyone’s done them since so, as theyve passed out of recent memory, i think theyre fair game. if i was as skinny as i was when i was fourteen or fifteen i would really want them. then again, i probably wouldntve been able to afford them at almost any time along my life’s sorry continuum.

      •  They are very 70s. If I could keep that in mind, and ignore the fact that someone on PR produced pants just like this a couple of seasons ago, I think I might be more OK with them. 😛

    • tallgirl1204

      I agree that wrap-around pants have had their day– but looking closely, they seem to be made of many layers of sheer fabric, including yellow, which does seem fresh– while they might not be for me, I bet they were amazing to watch walk. 

    • formerlyAnon

      I think many of these have detectable references to ‘looks’ that were all the rage at multiple points from the early-mid 60s through the 70s. But unlike the many, many re-hashes of those looks we’ve been recently served, these “make reference to” more often than simply recycle.

  • Introspective

    every look is simply stunning. rucci has always been fashion at its finest.

  • Le_Sigh

    Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Walking art.

  • tallgirl1204

    Beautiful clothes for grown-ups.  One can see that many of these would beautifully flatter women of a certain age and traditional size, while still looking hip and striking on their skinny daughters.  If ever I should marry (in which unexpected case I would definitely be of a certain age and traditional size), I want to wear the white dress with the tiny insets in the middle of the pack. 

  • Breathtaking! WOW! Absolutely gorgeous. The pop of pink is outstanding.

  • I WANT that hot pink trench but it probably costs more than I make.  I love most of these looks, the only thing that totally feels out of place for me is the green dress.

  • Clueless_Jock

    Intellectual fashion, reminds me a bit of Geoffrey Beene.

    • formerlyAnon

      Among others, depending which pieces you’re looking at. Beene didn’t come to mind at first, but you’re dead right.

  • MilaXX

    WOW, WOW, WOW! This is really pretty. I love every piece. This has to be my favorite collection so far.

  • imspinningaround

    Were Martha Stewart and ALT there?  

  • Judy_S

    I just came back for another sip of the good stuff and noticed the “pink t-shirt with black skirt gown” (second from bottom on the right). Same idea as Christopher’s Lord & Taylor dress, I think, but with a difference or two…

  • Lilak

    CRR is the only one I always, always look forward to.  I’ll grant something of an intellectual approach (indeed, a la Beene), but goodness…the results are definitely of the body when worn and in motion, as TLo confirm.    

  • poggi

    I think I can see what you guys are talking about a bit in terms of fabric and workmanship.  The skirts lay beautifully with no wrinkle but don’t look stiff or static.  The detailed seams and ribbons look both deliberate and natural.  There is a precision and grace here, even in the still photos, that must be even more amazing in person.

    Thanks for posting.  

  • Victoria Sharoyan

    Adjective:Causing great wonder; extraordinary.Extremely good or pleasing; splendid.

  • kimmeister

    I wonder what the criteria are to be officially certified as a couturier?

  • Winter_White

    Don’t remember where I saw it, but somewhere Laura Bennett mentioned him as her favorite designer…and I spent the next hour googling him and images of his work.  And swooning.

  • Wow. Fantastic collection. How funny is it that these are in freaking HIGHLIGHTER colors, pink, yellow, orange and that they’re killer looks. In HIGHLIGHTER colors. There’s nothing here I don’t covet, except maybe the silly string opening look, which is fab for a performer but not your average citizen. These clothes make me want to wake up 20 years younger, 8 inches taller and with a trust fund. Stunning.

  • Eva_baby

    Wow.  Heads and shoulders above!  Seriously.  Even the simplest pieces look like art.

  • formerlyAnon

    TLo ENVY!! I wish I got to see the high end fabric in motion. But glad you’ve earned your way there.

    All I have to say is that THIS is a collection which evokes a lot of the retro allusions seen lately without being too damn literal. I feel bits and pieces of everything from the Mod era all the way through to the more spare & elegant bits of the 70s.

    It’s like seeing what a grown up artist can do with the same subject after looking at a bunch of 3rd-5th graders take a stab at it.

  • EEKstl

    Holy shit.  I am in love.

  • pippitypup

    Row 6. Dress 3.

    Bow down.

  • I LOVE this, even the eye-searing pinks. This is the first collection that I’ve felt anything but “meh” about during oh-so-fashionable fashion week. This, despite the fact that my fantasy buying spree is at Sierra Trading Outlet, is literally breath-taking for me.

  • michelle shields

    Yeah! Color!

  • Tatiana Luján

    “Lady goes to lunch” came to my head several times. Fabulous lady, off course. 

  • marilyn

    I was a little scared by the first dress, since it looked like bridesmaid fodder.  The rest of the collection is gorgeous and is worthy of his designation.

  • I wish more of American design was about discovery and less about trend spotting. It’s why our fashion scene gets stuck in reoccurring loops.

  • Vanja

    This is the type of clothes I like. Great silhouette , perfect fit, clean lines and bold colours. The black dress with the yellow/white/orange trim looked perfect while in motion.

  • I would stab a b*tch for that black dress with the striped hem.

  • kim i

    such a mid-’60s vibe!  great stuff.

  • DCSheehan

    Wow. That is a lot of pretty.

  • Monabel

    Wonderful construction, interesting and flattering shapes and some really harsh colors.

  • Tom and Lorenzo, we love your blog and your insights are always brilliant and inspirational and for that reason you will always be on our guest list.   Thank you for this excellent review.   It is extremely satisfying to have your hard work and endless efforts recognized.   Bless you both.

  • crash1212

    I love his work. I got to see one of his pieces up close and personal in what I call “the scary room” at Saks in San Francisco. I like to go in there and swoon over the designer pieces – I almost passed out from the perfection of his dress…you could wear it inside out and look beautiful – that’s how perfectly made it was. Just beyond.

  • RR also has several  designs available right now theough Vogue Patterns and I can say (having actually made one of his gowns, Vogue 1075) that they are as unique, exquisitely drafted and wearable as everything above.  Vogue Patterns right now has a pattern for a dress that is almost identical to the pink dress in the fifth row on the far left.  A few years ago FIT did an CRR exhibit and his work is indeed astonishing in person.  As a sewist RR is a GOD to me!  Here is the link to his Vogue patterns collection:

  • Crazy, but it has color! All the gray I’ve seen in the other collections frightens me. 

  • Scarlet39

    Perfect.  Full stop.

  • Zippypie

    Love this entire collection!  I feel like I’m looking at fashion, not just another collection of pretty dresses or department store wear.

  • guest2visits

    All of it’s very crisp, cool, fresh, and very pretty…    except the black booby-patch dress in the last row.
    I’d like everything on the 5th row, and the simple black dress with the bright hem. 

  • Amy Ellinger

    Watched this one live on the streamy-thing. Stunning, spectacular, jaw-dropping. Absolutely mesmerizing walking art.  Sounds silly, but I’m proud he’s American!  Will absolutely go look for more of his work.  

    About 3 looks in, my husband just gave up and came over to sit and watch it with me- guess he got tired of my “ohmigoshbaby, you have to see this one!” with every. single. look. 

  • I have neither the income nor the youthful body for any of it, but man, if I did I’d be ALL OVER this. Absolutely gorgeous, and so very much to my taste.

  • Oh, I really love these A LOT!!  That big poofy ball gown with the neon under-layers?  Fucking AMAZING!

  • AC

    Still fabulous. 

  • Chantelle James

    These clothes are so beautiful even in these weirdly-lit pictures. I can only imagine how much more beautiful they would have been in person.

  • quiltrx

    Really beautiful, and even in these shots you can see how impeccable each look is.  Really inspiring for any of us that create!

  • joything

    Row Six, everything, come to me NOW.  All the rest, ohmyfuckingGODitssogorge ….

  • ccm800


  • DesertDweller79

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE these. And you are saying they look even better in person?  Wow!

  • RR also does a collection for Vogue patterns  and one design looks almost exactly like the pink dress on the left 5th row down.  Having made up one of his patterns I can say they are unique, exquisitely drafted and just as beautiful as what we see here.  Just go to the Vogue Patterns web site and search on “Chado Ralph Rucci”

  • Oh my! I can only imagine how this looked in person because they look quite breathtaking from here. I want 90% of this collection in my closet- it’s hard to pick one or two favorites. Stunning

  • Susan Crawford

    The black ball gown in the last row of pictures: just incredibly gorgeous. What a collection! I want so many of these pieces – so beautifully made.

  • Verascity

    The gowns in the last two rows are INCREDIBLE.

  • TieDye64

    Oh, to see this collection in person. Exquisite.

  • There’s a reason that Threads Magazine uses him and his work often when they write articles about construction. Because, really, if you want to see how perfectly a garment can be made, there’s no better example. Excuse me while I swoon.

  • oohsparkley!

    A stunning group of gorgeousness. With the tiny exception of the sheer unlined blouse sans bra. – why?  It isn’t shocking, it’s been done and why here?

  • My favorite in this delicious collection is the yellow dress with the slash of color across the front. 

  • formerlyAnon

    Thank you for this link. I haven’t sewed seriously in years & never got really skilled, but I still occasionally fantasize! 

  • Qitkat

    Most of these clothes would make any woman feel incredibly confident, sexy and beautiful. This is the wardrobe, with a couple of obvious exceptions, that a contemporary Jacqueline Kennedy/Onassis could wear. Remember how poorly the PR designers did in a previous season (8?) with a JackieO challenge? 

  • Oh.  Oh my.  Sumptuous.  So comfortable looking.  I know, that sounds strange when talking about couture – but I can actually imagine wearing these clothes.  Lounging in them.  That fabulous drape-y yellow and white cashmere-y looking number…..wowza!  I want big time.  Those lovely, soft sleeves, the way it wraps the body like a hug.  I can see myself sipping jasmine tea on a cushy couch looking out a big picture window……  Well.  It makes a person fantasize.  Thanks, guys.  Such beautiful, beautiful clothes.  If I could afford it, I’d buy the entire collection hands down.          

  • dharmabum8

    Holy crap, I love this collection so hard. The middle dress in the last grouping makes me think of Mammy wearing her scandalous red petticoat from Mr. Rhett and giggling with delight.


  • nancylee61

    Wow!!! Absolutely gorgeous!! I love the pink jacket and yellow dress the most. I love the simple, elegant lines of these clothes. If I were rich, this would be my designer!!

  • BrightsideSusan

    Yes.  If I were very rich I would buy these clothes.  Can’t say that about many of the designers we have been seeing.

  • TaurusKW

    Tilda Swinton must wear that white, printed gown in the last row.  Period.

  • That last gown… *dies*

  • THere’s an adjective I’m looking for, but I can’t quite find it. It starts with an “e”, I think. It’s not enchanting, although this collection is, it’s something else. Well, let’s just say this is all breathtaking, just by looking at it on my monitor.

  • frankystein123

    Eyegasm, over and over again.

  • lrober03

    I really how Princess Kate wears some of these.  There are some beautiful and classic monochromatic looks here, but in bolder colors I would love to see her in.  
    As long as she stays far far far away from all the shoes.  Hideous.