Quiet as the changes might have been, they were hard to escape at Ralph Rucci, who continues to move his aesthetic into younger terrain.
The show’s production itself reflected the evolution. The models walked the gleaming white runway at a faster clip than past seasons, when the pace was sometimes painfully slow. This brought on a new energy — one that was also felt in the clothes.
Rucci, who recently dropped the Chado from his label, worked a sophisticated edge, infusing the lineup with modernity, from a greater rotation of sportswear cut lean to the body to his chic, minimalist palette of black, white and nude; cool wide diamond bands accessorized every model’s finger.
The designer riffed on layering, transparency and architectural shapes (not just his signature cocoon coats). The most interesting details came via aprons, including a black velvet one shown over a simple white jersey dress. These pieces were executed with sleek sophistication and a touch of mid-Nineties chic, down to the strings that dangled from many of the looks, which, whether deliberate or not, subtly winked at Helmut Lang.
For evening, Rucci piled on bold surface details, but the effect never overpowered. Highlights included two cocktail dresses covered in large sequins and a slinky black beaded gown with sheer sleeves that closed the show.