RALPH & RUSSO HAUTE COUTURE – BACKSTAGE – SS 16
HAUTE COUTURE – RALPH & RUSSO – SS 16
Building on the House’s adoration of delicate femininity, decadent elegance and masterly craftsmanship, Ralph & Russo’s new collection heralds Spring; that promise for renewal and frisson of youth.
All is dreamlike and weightless, echoed in billowing crêpe capes, airy bell sleeves and clouds of gazar. Tender ribbons of organza in powdery shades are pin-tucked into geometric waves, cascading over mighty corolla trains – light as butterfly wings.
Erogenous is the waist; a defined line where from abundant volumes unfurl. Peplums, architectural and graphic, bring a modern definition to the quintessential hourglass of the 1950s. And corseted bustiers gesture at pin-up glamour, sharpening silhouettes beneath sheer, diaphanous robes.
The shoulders are aphrodisiacs, at times gracefully bared by graphic and precise cut-outs in fluid kimonos, at others enveloped by infinitely fragile feather boleros.
In dazzling masterpieces of intricate technique, vast surfaces are fully adorned, yet retaining an exquisite delicacy.
Organza petal appliqué glistens with crystal dewdrops amidst three-dimensional silk threadwork. Micro-paillettes underlayers shimmer through geometric cut-outs, recalling the iridescence of natural grey pearls. And crystal drops shower column dresses with effervescent sparkle.
Hand-painted peonies and tulips in sapphire, blush pink and lavender grey flow like wild grass in a continuous ink line with multiple densities, evoking Chinese ancestral calligraphy. Bold strokes that at times are encrusted like jewels, at others diffuse like the summer mist.
Spiderwebs of Chantilly lace in dreamcatcher dresses trickle over the body, sometimes spun to the floor. Every now and then a petal or feather gets caught, trembling in the scented midnight breeze.
Spring/Summer 2016 brings a new aesthetic, reconciling a regal demeanour with a douceur de vivre in a sublimely subtle blend of tradition and modernity.