Model Tatiana Sorokko at Phoenix Art Museum

By Jillian Sloan

Tatiana Sorokko, model and contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar, opened her closet and history to audiences on Tuesday, June 10 during her lecture entitled “Collecting Haute Couture” part of an on-going exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum featuring works by American designer Ralph Rucci.

Tatiana Sorokko poses with one of Ralph Rucci's pieces.

Through a slideshow of photographs, Tatiana shared her memories of the runway, designers, and the beginning of her close and private relationship with Ralph Rucci.

Audiences laughed to Tatiana’s anecdotes as a model stressed about pieces falling off during a runway show, hid chocolates from Gian Franco Ferre and sneaking photos of artwork while Ralph Rucci distracted a museum guard.

Sorokko met Ralph Rucci for the first time in the early 90s and deciding she would only wear three dresses of his collection for an upcoming show. But then she saw something about his work and decided, “this man has taste, I can do four.” Her instinct proved true. Ralph Rucci was the second American invited to show haute couture in Paris.

“Haute Couture” refers to the creation of excessively high quality, custom-fitted fashions. In France Haute Couture serves as a quality seal that can be claimed only be the finest fashion designers.

Ralph Rucci’s line, Chado Ralph Rucci, says much about the man behind the sketches. As Tatiana explained, Chado is a Japanese tea ceremony, consisting of 331 steps to making the perfect tea. Ralph, she said, believes there are 331 steps to making the perfect black dress. Like the tea ceremony, it involves exactness, expertise, and great attention to detail. Ralph Rucci does not believe there is a distinction between art and fashion and fuses the two for a very unique line that travels seamlessly through the high fashion world and great works of art in museums. Tatiana’s respect and appreciation for Ralph Rucci’s work is undeniable. She stressed his attention to detail and his voraciousness to achieve his favorite word; perfection. Anything less, Tatiana explained, is considered a “dog.”

The Chado Ralph Rucci collection will be on display at the Phoenix Art Museum March through August 17. For more information about this event and Ralph Rucci, read "Chado Ralph Rucci": an exhibition of haute fashion at Phoenix Art Museum by Lilia Menconi or visit PhxArt.org for this and other events featuring Chado Ralph Rucci.

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