Simply put, Rucci’s dresses seem to defy the physical properties of mere fabric and thread.

This season, the American couturier plays with ripped wool crepe, or torn cashmere -- all flawlessly hand-stitched, of course. A silk chiffon dress has scads of hand-tied knots, like flower buds. A pink tube dress sports a net feather cage that hovers around the body. But it’s a raucous uptown dame who’ll wear the dress with mohawk of white guinea hen feathers down the spine.

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Martha Stewart was sitting front row, perhaps thinking: “Guinea hen mohawk? It’s a good thing.”

AP Photo