Ralph & Russo Spring 2015 Haute Couture

Ralph & Russo was once again among the precious few international brands invited to present at the Paris Haute Couture this season, and, true to form, the label proved itself more than worthy of the honor. Floral inspiration was a recurring theme seen throughout the haute couture collections for spring, but unlike other houses who used prints, transparency and layering to affect petals and blooms, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo brought true artistry to the forefront via their fully realized, articulated floral embroideries – think swirling vines, micro ruffles and crystal-tipped petals. Watching the show (among the best this season in terms of production drama and couture styling), one had the feeling of witnessing the presentation of a collection that surpassed the special and crossed over into the rarified world of collections that are painstakingly crafted with love and a total devotion to beauty.

It is perhaps this commitment to the sublime that has megawatt stars including Angelina Jolie and Beyoncé proudly wearing the English label to their most important occasions. In the front row on Thursday’s show were Cheryl (formerly Cole) Fernandez-Versini and Dita Von Teese, both looking quite fetching in the fashions of the maison.

A procession of romantic and ladylike looks floated down the runway, among them several 1950s-inspired tea length frocks, a few sculptural cocktail dresses, and what seemed like an endless selection of to-the-floor-and-beyond evening gowns and capes. While the collection in its entirety recalled old Hollywood garden party glamour, Ralph & Russo used volume and shape to maintain the here-and-now relevance for a majority of the exits. Among those that grasped our attention were two opera coats – one lilac, one navy – both sumptuous in their scale and excess. Besides the aforementioned embroideries, dresses cleverly draped as unfurling flowers around the shoulders or hips also turned heads.

If all this sounds a bit “too much,” rest assured that Ralph & Russo’s most clever design choice may have been the restrained, chalky palette which seemed to whitewash any potential vulgarity. This was especially elegant when the embroidery and the body of the dress were matched tone-on-tone.

About the Author

A fashion stylist, event designer, and style writer, Lucas Somoza has a keen eye for all things beautiful. Based in Paris, Lucas regularly collaborates with Olivia throughout Paris Fashion Week, producing editorials and contributing reviews of designer collections. You can follow Lucas on Instagram at @LucasSomoza.