Ralph & Russo may not have made the dress for Meghan Markle’s royal wedding but that certainly didn’t take any wind out of their sails. The new Duchess of Sussex remains a muse — Michael Russo demurred on whether she was still a client — and business is still booming. Having just opened in the Dubai Mall, several other openings are slated for the coming months.
The couple named Jacqueline de Ribes as inspiration for a fall collection of 47 looks. Like the French fashion icon, the brand knows how to make an entrance, opening with an asymmetric off-white tailored dress with a daring slit that revealed a black garter around a toned thigh. “We wanted to set the tone for the early Eighties era of bold, sexy femininity,” said Tamara Ralph after the show.
Crystallizing the mood of the season were a multicolored chiffon kaftan in tones of fluorescent pink, yellow and aqua; a black off-the-shoulder sheath in black tulle that left the corsage, bustle and garter visible, and structured silhouettes with marked shoulders and waists.
Ralph was at her most focused when cutting closer to the body in silhouettes that exuded sensuality, rife with well-placed flashes of skin and lashings of crystals and feathers. Extremes strained her discourse: the more demure looks, say, a puffy cloud of pink taffeta, read hesitant rather than sultry. Efforts to express today’s range of femininity made the profusion feel overwhelming, and you know what they say about trying to please all.