Runway Report: Ralph & Russo SS17 Couture

The Haute Couture runways have seen a heavier-than-usual dose of dramatic evening glamour thus far this season, what with the presentations of Dior’s decadent ball gowns and Giambattista Valli’s tulle explosion entrance-makers. One could say that some Couture maisons have crept into what is traditionally Ralph & Russo territory – that of lavishly embroidered, unquestionably pretty, unabashedly feminine eveningwear. So it was a good thing, then, that Ralph & Russo managed to set themselves apart by expanding their horizons and showing a collection for Spring/Summer 2017 that saw the design duo tiptoe in the direction of contemporary references and add new words to their design vocabulary: geometric, linear, graphic, modern and urban.

That isn’t to imply that Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo abandoned their established aesthetic of floral motifs, classical silhouettes, crystal embellishment and the like; they simply fused it with a modern take on sportswear, giving a fresh relevance to formality.

Although models wore gimmicky wigs and distracting visors in an attempt to convey an urban edge, the real contemporary flair emerged onto the runway in the form of viable daywear options like an alluring, geometric check skirt suit, tulle-edged tweed, scalloped crepe or a black-and-white mini shift.

Of course, there was no shortage of “major” red carpet swooners on display. Especially alluring were the least fussy of options, like a pale blue sleeveless silk chiffon gown with cascades of ruffles along the seams.  Also stunning was a black tulle number with velvet chevron details and flouncy ostrich feathers. Finally, who wouldn’t love to wear a periwinkle silk chiffon cape with stripes of delicate, inset lace and yards of ruffles? Certainly not the Ralph & Russo bride, who found a new unencumbered freedom in going veil-less, but who wouldn’t hesitate to throw over her shoulders an ostrich feather cape in fabulous Liberace-loving style.

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.