Having its dresses worn by Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Sonam Kapoor and a bevy of private clients, London-based couture house Ralph & Russo has certainly been in the spotlight. When soon-to-be-royal Meghan Markle donned the label for her engagement photos, it turned into a burning glare.
Looking to the East for inspiration, Tamara Ralph showed a collection hinged on ornamentation. Cue tiers of shivering ostrich feathers plus chain mail, jet embroidery and silk floss thread-work. Clusters of pearls and crystals caught the light from every surface and fold — at times to overwhelming effect.
Ralph’s knack for flattering the feminine form shone out most vividly on a chartreuse number with fringe that looked like a rich shawl draped over the body; a supremely elegant sun-ray pleated chiffon gown, and a nude off-the-shoulder cocktail dress with plumes swinging with every step. It looked quite classic, but in the game Ralph & Russo is in, change can only ever be subtly incremental, when there at all.
Russo, the business arm of the company, has reiterated recently the focus on service that underpins the house. Ralph’s designs certainly back the idea that she is keen to listen and able to deliver on any wishes. If those happen to be royal, well, that would be the icing on Ralph & Russo’s fairy-tale cake.