A Chado show is usually quite a serious affair but for fall, Ralph Rucci surprised and delighted with a lighter touch from the start. Even the pace, both music and models, picked up considerably, opening with an explosion of red — lots of red: coats in Mongolian lamb or embossed vinyl, a sable ski parka and a long-double-faced wool coat over pants. Rucci soon moved into black and white, keeping the focus as always on incredible workmanship and intricate details. A short-sleeve wool challis dress edged in horsehair, as well as the cracked porcelain leather coat and dress and charming freshwater pearl twin set with a satin skirt all mirrored Rucci’s fresh spirit. Of course, he still showed his dramatic side, evident in the exquisite black gown with a smashing panel of bright pink, and the show’s finale — a return to red in a quilted satin pagoda jacket and gown.

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