With the release of his autobiography and a documentary film, it’s been quite a year for the only American couturier, Ralph Rucci. If you mention the brand Chado Ralph Rucci to women of a certain age and demographic – think Bergdorf Goodman shopping Upper East Siders – you’ll get nothing short of swoons in return.
Proof positive? I left Rucci’s new book, “Autobiography of a Fashion Designer: Ralph Rucci” in my parents’ apartment and when I came to pick it up the first thing my mother told me was that it was the reigning topic of conversation when a handful of her friends were over for coffee the day before.
The book is certainly conversation worthy. A hefty tome at over 11 inches square and 250-plus pages, it may well be the nicest coffee table read I’ve ever laid eyes on and I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by the designer himself (he signs with two oversized incredibly chic initials, natch). Rife with images, the book takes you through the process of making Rucci’s couture creations and includes detailed images, fabric shots, studio snaps, and items that have inspired the designer, all of which help give us insight into how the designer’s masterful creations come to life. Every time I page through the book, all I can think is that someone needs to give this man a Tumblraccount because these are images that anyone who appreciates fashion should get a chance to see.
As for the film, it’s titled A Quiet American: Ralph Rucci & Paris and shows the viewer how Rucci collaborates with the great Haute Couture artisans and technicians. The film includes newly filmed interviews with dozens of people close to Rucci including Lee Radziwill, Cathy Horyn of the New York Times, Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, Didier Grumbach of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne, Francisco Costa, the creative director of Calvin Klein, Hamish Bowles and Andre Leon Talley of Vogue, Francois Lesage, Deeda Blair, Yaffa Assouline, James Galanos, and more. The film is by CS Leigh, who followed the designer for four years.
One thing’s for sure it's about time people gave the world's most underrated couturier some attention.