Runway Report: Ralph & Russo SS18 Couture

With awards season in full swing, images of Haute Couture evening gowns are rather prevalent at this time of year. One brand whose visibility is stronger than ever is Ralph & Russo, thanks to fabulous exposure at the Golden Globe and SAG Awards (and the approval of a certain future Princess). Because of the white-hot growth of the British label we felt particularly honored to be invited backstage before their latest Haute Couture show in Paris.

There, among the dozens of seamstresses busy making final touches to the 56 looks about to make their runway debuts, it was explained how designer Tamara Ralph’s recent voyages to Asia (Korea, in particular) have influenced this collection.  Traditional Eastern decorative references – kimono silhouettes, tassels, peonies, hand painting and fan pleats to name a few – were incorporated into the brand’s usually glamorous aesthetic, showcasing the fine-tuned skills of Ralph & Russo’s couture atelier as well as the far-flung imaginations of its designers. Upon close inspection, the crystal embroidery, fully realized flower petals and hand-applied ruffles were marvels of craftsmanship and proof of the timelessness of classical elegance.

Besides the Asian influence, color – bright color! – set this collection apart from the pastel and black-and-white palette of previous Ralph & Russo shows. Intensely pigmented, fresh shades like apple green and chartreuse, as well as neon pink, butter yellow and classic cherry red all added a zing of spring to the runway.

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.