Fall 2017 Haute Couture: Ralph & Russo's Portrait de Femmes
Like the great fashion photography that provided inspiration, Ralph & Russo’s Fall 2017 Couture Collection was all about catching the light — using an iridescent palette of ice mints, pearlescent lavenders, rose-gold and aqua blue — and showing movement with devore ostrich and coque feathers, foil and beaded fringes, and fluid draping.
Explaining that couture and photography have the ability to capture an individual’s unique beauty and personality, the brand’s creative director Tamara Ralph created her “portrait de femmes” with shimmering fabrics that mixed pearlescent silks with frosty crystals and metallic lace.
While she has made a name for herself and her brand with feminine red-carpet gowns, worn amongst others by Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Fan Bingbing, Ralph is increasingly offering daywear, though there is nothing “simple” about these pieces. The Fall 2017 show opened with a white silk crepe kimono jacket embellished with velvet braided cord and crystal and pearl embroideries worn with tailored trousers, this was followed by a white crepe tailleur with large flower applique on its peplum and a black and silver tweed tailleur with a sexy asymmetric off-the-shoulder collar. The couture house is expected to launch a ready-to-wear collection in Paris this October.
Along the daywear pieces, there were also glittering cocktail dresses showcasing the Maison’s savoid faire with mixed pleated lavender ruffles and monochrome crystals, metallic organza scallops and triangle hotfix, feather and crystal chain discs, metallic lace embellished with foil fringing and devore feathers. Eveningwear range from long fluid silhouettes in fabrics as light as air to the more structure corseted gowns asymmetric draping contouring the bodice (a staple every season) as well as more voluminous ball gowns.
Some of the most elaborate gowns included a pale mint silk crepe and gazar piece with voluminous sleeves and draped train, as well as an amethyst and silver zibeline gown in ornate floral print that featured curved draping and bell sleeves with embellished silk organza plisse flowers.
Throughout the collection, movement was key, created through the use of fringes or feathers, and there were plenty of new accessories to lust after, including see-through knee-high boots.
While many of the silhouettes were quintessential Ralph & Russo, with pleated layers, cape sleeves, beautifully structured draped gowns, there were a few surprises such as a white crepe jumpsuit with a statement jacket featuring gold navette crystal, glass pendant and ostrich feathers, as well as an ivory floor-length tunic with a halter neck and split front worn with matching loose-fit trousers, a contemporary take on the salwar kameez.
Actress Sonam Kapoor closed the show with a stunning Chantilly lace bridal gown with a double duchess overskirt hand-embroidered with gold and silver bullion, floral silk threadworks and pearlescent microbeads. The gown was complemented by a stunning embroidered tulle head piece.