Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Not that many eyes were on Ralph & Russo, as the newest members to be inducted onto the official Haute Couture schedule showed on the final day, after many editors had flown the coop. Nevertheless, the show was on in the hottest venue of the season, just off place Vendome and steps away from Hotel Costes.

Still a confidential brand, Ralph and Russo hail from London and already count Sheikha Moza and Beyoncé among their clients. Referencing the 1940s and 1950s, Tamara Ralph sent out dramatic silhouettes embellished with a touch of “jardin à la française”, created in her London ateliers.

But as beautiful as these silhouettes were, the lineup felt like a mood board of couture imagery over time. The giant rosettes perched on a shoulder, graphic sweeps of fabric at the waistline, a classic ball gown were among the elements that came into play in the Ralph & Russo spring, bringing back visions of grandiose events immortalized in countless pictures and books celebrating society. No doubt is there still a customer for this kind of grandiose elaborations. In many instances, these silhouettes felt too referential to the original idea, looking like luxurious fancy dress.

In the end, this passeist vision of what couture felt as if this new house “entwining its roots in the traditions of Haute Couture’s golden era” were at the very early stages of being grafted into today’s couture mores.
 

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