Ralph Rucci and his painstakingly masterful clothes can't be rushed.
"Since 1981, Rucci's body of work has been evolving, garment by garment, using the most luxurious fabrics and most renowned specialized collaborators," he said in notes left Wednesday on the chairs at his show in the Lincoln Center tents.
"Rucci's evolutionary process moves at its own pace. New silhouettes and technical processes enter his oeuvre as the designer sees fit, not when external pressures dictate."
So, no trendspotting here?
No one seemed to care, with Rucci receiving a standing ovation as he took his bow — and that was after the "oohs" and "aahs" at a front row that includes Rucci regular Whoopi Goldberg, largely clad in pieces from the designer's earlier collections.
To build on those artful, architectural and expensive wardrobes, Rucci offered several modern looks with sheer plastic panels. Sometimes it was an inset around the bodice, sometimes more subtle on the cuff of a jacket or hem of a skirt.
And there was a white neoprene coat, paired with a faille straight skirt, like you've never seen neoprene before.
He used silver python for a banded skirt that was worn with a sheer chiffon button-front blouse. For evening there was black caviar-beaded blouson dress — using the tiniest beads one could imagine — that had little fringe at the hemline.
There was also a body-hugging black jersey gown with an unexpected inset of rose-gold pailettes on the back. A white glass-beaded gown with a mermaid hemline was a little glitzier, but only in that Rucci way. The clothes are grand but not showy.
"Rucci believes he was born to create his chosen metier and continually strives to inspire all who seek refinement, beauty and tranquility in the world of fashion," his notes said.