Ralph & Russo catwalk show report S/S 2016 for Haute Couture
Timeless glamour and beautifully structured volume, punctuated with opulent silk, lace and embroidery; Ralph & Russo’s SS16 haute couture show manages to explore a huge variety of different textures and time periods, without exhausting the eye.
The styles and detailing were hugely varied, but this still managed to be a coherent and cohesive collection, exploring regal decadence and spring renewal.
Many of the pieces showed a 50s influence, with fishtail gowns, structured bodices, peplum, cinched waists and voluminous skirts. Waists were often the focal point, bringing an outfit together and stopping it from being too much to take in.
The collection’s influences seem to be numerous, but consistently varied and never simple: heavily embroidered flowers reminiscent of a 16th century tapestry but applied to floor-length, sheer, barely-there gown for an undeniably modern update; intricately beaded and embroidered white gowns were juxtaposed with Prussian blue shoes; hand-painted peonies and tulips (some of which in the same bright blue) add an element of Chinese watercolours mixed with pop art.
The models’ make-up reflected this: it was bare-faced and fresh, with pale pink-painted nails. This was a classic spring look, but with the distinctly 50s nuance of a French twist and winged black and gold eyeliner.
Spring was also evident in the house’s shoes, which were almost all heeled court shoes in a candy coloured silk, armoured with metallic flowers and leaves, whose stems made up the heels. These showed a harsher side to spring florals and pastels.
The masterpiece of the collection was undeniably the final gown. This enormous, almost impossibly detailed wedding dress, featured kimono sleeves which trailed behind Isabeli Fontana and melted into the three metre train. The tulle flowed over her and fell behind her as though she was rising from water. Unfortunately, Fontana wasn’t much of a fan: “I hate it, I look like an old lady… Like a grandma getting married.”