Before we immerse ourselves in the world of couture, let’s take a look at the history of Ralph & Russo. This is a brand the majority of people may not know, but it most definitely is a brand that fashion lovers should know. Ralph & Russo was the first and only British fashion house to be elected by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show at Haute Couture Week in Paris. The designers are Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, a woman and a man. I love the idea of a woman and a man collaborating on fashion. You have the vision of a woman, who represents the body and frame that these gowns will fit and you have the point of view of a man, who wants to make the woman look as beautiful as she can in these designs. The combination of everything women and men both bring to fashion is exactly what Ralph & Russo embodies – whimsical, eye-catching fashion with expert details and tailoring. It’s for these spectacular reasons that this small, privately owned business is so successful.
The theme of the Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016 collection was regeneration and rebirth. This show featured gowns in refreshing colors such as pearl, gold, rosé and violet complete with flowery elements and delicate appliqué details. Hand-painted peonies and tulips complimented the organza and chiffon gowns that look like they sprung right from the ground themselves. I like to think of the Ralph & Russo aesthetic as a modern Charles James. It is a brand for the classic woman who strives for elegance, but wants that show-stopping dress with unique angles. Every look in this collection is worthy of a Cannes Film Festival appearance, and the wide variety of silhouettes can flatter a woman of any shape or size.
The collection focuses on the empire waistline and even featured looks such as a modern peplum, along with 1950’s bell-shaped dresses. Sheer kimonos, white lace and sweeping gowns were both structured and elegant in nature. Every individual piece looked like something fit for a princess. How fun would it be to play dress up in this couture? It would surely transcend you into another world of fairy tales and magic!