Chado Ralph Rucci
Although his design concepts are heavenly, Ralph Rucci’s approach is down to Earth with meticulous attention given to every precise detail - down to the last stitch.
Director, David Boatman's documentary, Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House, follows Rucci through the intricate design process, during the creation of his Fall 2008 couture and Spring 2008 ready-to-wear collections. The film, which was recently screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in the Titus II Theater, also premiered on the Sundance channel. It features runway footage from New York and Paris, and interviews with a number of the fashion world editors and leading indusrty insiders, plus narration by Martha Stewart. The film achieved a five-star rating on Sundance.
Filmed in New York and Paris by cinematographer Theo Stanley, the film was edited by Ryan Fenson-Hood. An original score was composed by Justin Marchacos. Jeremy Stillman was the online editor.
Since 1994, Rucci’s Chado brand has gained a reputation in the fashion world for impeccable craftsmanship and stylish looks. The name Chado is derived from that of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony which symbolizes respect, tranquility and integrity.
Rucci is known for his original and innovative approaches to cut and construction of garments and for his high standards. He is an idealist who constantly pushes the edge of creativity to achieve perfection. With intellectual rigor and a love of his craft, he has become a highly respected in top fashion circles and has attracted a sophisticated international clientele. Rucci's work reflects his introspective approach to design. He draws inspiration from a wide range of contemporary and historical sources. He is closely supported by Larissa Ryzhova, the Artistic Director at Chado Ralph Rucci, and a team of talented and dedicated individuals who translate his concepts into reality.
Driven by an intense imagination, Rucci designed his sophisticated 2008 Chado collection with a neutral palette, using exotic materials and luxurious fabrics which were manufactured by European mills. Rucci’s clean-cut, sculptured creations are designed to flow in unique ways with body movements. His current collection includes styles which feature hammered-satin suits, short, laser-cut jackets, narrow pants with sixties-style tunics and slouchy fur tops. Rucci’s collection includes prints that incorporate his own watercolor and acrylic designs and even his handprint. Rucci also designs a ready-to-wear line of clothing.
The documentary film transports viewers onto the high fashion runways of New York and Paris and provides a behind -the-scenes look into the fascinating world of designer Ralph Rucci and his staff. Rucci describes what it’s like to survive and succeed in his high pressure environment and explains his creative approach to designing expensive, trend-setting, one-of-a-kind haute couture fashions. In his comments, Rucci shares his feelings about the challenges and highlights that have marked his career. He describes what took place in the design and production process, during the tension-filled time that led up to the Paris introduction of his fall 2008 collection. Anxiety ran high as Rucci and his team wondered how the collection they had worked so hard on would be received by buyers and fashion world critics.
As Rucci’s staff arrives in Paris, the film cuts to dreamy scenes of the Eiffel Tower and other Paris landmarks, then to Rucci and his team making final preparations for the fashion debut there.
As the Paris showing begins, the camera pans to opening shots of beautiful slim models softly gliding down the runway, modeling the end results of Rucci’s design genius. Drama is created, when one model walks the runway in total silence, except for a clicking of her heels on the catwalk - an innovative sound effect designed by Ryan Fenson-Hood.
From simple beginnings as the son of a Philadelphia butcher, Ralph Rucci was graduated from Temple University, where he majored in literature and philosophy. He moved to New York, to study design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, before founding Chado Ralph Rucci in 1994. Chado’s small staff includes his sister, who works with him at his Soho atelier.
In 2002, Rucci became the first American designer since Mainbocher in 1930 to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale to present his work as part of the Paris haute couture fashion calendar. He’s been twice nominated for CFDA Designer of the Year. In October of 2008 Rucci received the Cooper Hewitt national design award.