Last Friday night I ventured into unfamiliar territory by attending the beautifully chic Looking Back to the Future: Ralph Rucci Evolved fashion exhibition and reception at the SCAD Museum of Art in downtown Savannah. (Not familiar with SCAD? It’s the Savannah College of Art and Design, with an incredible campus scattered all over the Historic District.) Here I am beforehand, perusing the invitation and trying to decide three things.
1. Who Ralph Rucci is. I thought at first that maybe he was related to Susan Lucci (aka Erica Kane–All My Children), before realizing I confused the “L” and “R” of the last name.
2. If “reception” might translate into “jumbo Savannah shrimp and mojitos.”
3. If (since this was a fashion event) I had anything cool to wear that wouldn’t make my butt look big. (Could I wear skinny jeans at my age?)
A bit of research revealed that Rucci is a well known American fashion designer, with a line called Chado Ralph Lucci (“chado” coming from Japanese tea ceremonies which pay close attention to detail and expertise). His work “always embodies the same formula: the collections present the most beautiful rainwear, outerwear, furs, leathers, embroidery and rich hand techniques, dance dresses, and drop-dead evening gowns.”
Not 100% sure why, I decided to go.
I’m so glad I did.
Because now I’m famous. (More about that later.)
I arrived about 6:30 p.m. at the amazingly beautiful museum, which was created within a crumbling National Historic Landmark railroad warehouse, part of the large Central of Georgia Railroad Depot complex.
Here I am with docent extraordinaire Brianne Shew (a SCAD Fashion Design student) who introduced me to the exhibition and explained that “couture” is high-quality, custom made clothing, usually with 80% or more of the piece hand sewn. (And I finally learned how to pronounce the word: “koo-toor”: http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=couture.)
And here I am with one of the mannequins (right before I got a mean look/”no, no” headshake from another docent for getting too close to the mannequin/womannequin).
While browsing through the exhibit, I met a guy with the coolest pants. Upon introducing myself and my blog, I discovered that Mangue Banzima had recently moved with his family from New York and now owns Qui? Inc., an image consulting firm. Mangue is married to the lovely Isolde Brielmaier, art historian and chief curator of exhibitions of the SCAD museums. He writes a fascinating fashion blog: http://www.quistyle.com/blog (where you can see many photos from the Ralph Rucci exhibit). As a matter of fact, at his blog, Mangue welcomes your own fashion photo submissions.
And at one point Mangue took my picture and included it in his blog: http://www.quistyle.com/blog/page/5 (scroll down). WHY on earth didn’t I dress up more?! Still, since I’m now famous, from now on please treat me with the respect I deserve.
While at the museum I stuck my head in a couple of the other exhibits. Here I am sitting in the dark watching a video of frozen shoes sinking into a hole.
And, then, at another exhibit, trying to take a stand and march to my own beat:
But failing and succumbing to the crowd:
Oh well. Come on, join us.
I really had a wonderful time at the SCADMoA and the Rucci show. When you can, go!
Leaving, I said goodbye to yet another friendly and helpful Scadite, student Cory Elder, a SCAD painting major.
Moral of story: go where you haven’t gone before, try something new or challenging. Stretch. Who knows, you might become famous too.
P.S. If you have any suggestions for MY new fashion line, let me know ASAP. Thank you.