During Couture Fashion Week in Paris, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo presented their Spring 2016 Couture collection, a love letter to the romanticism of spring. Opera coats and ball gowns were adorned in decadent floral appliques, bare shoulders showed off just a hint of skin, and flowing fabrics cascaded over the shoulders and around the ankles of models. It was delicate and dreamlike—a popular motif for Ralph & Russo, that felt reminiscent of their prior work, but refined for a new season.
The silhouettes were familiar—tea-length frocks, mermaid-cut, floor-length gowns and traditional A-line cuts—but this season, structure was added with ‘50s-style bustiers and kimono-cut sleeves and wraps. Done almost entirely in lace, crepe and gazar, the collection was voluminous and soft, with slender waists and dramatic hips and shoulders. Even the most structured pieces were full of movement and organza fluttered around the models like clouds.
Texture felt weightless with graphic floral cutouts, wispy feathers and layers of Chantilly lace. Hand-painted tulips and peonies gave life to the porcelain fabrics, and embroidered flowers made their way onto dress trains and the under trim of high-low frocks. Jewels were used heavily along the edge of trains and dresses, while tiny iridescent crystals were found studded into the flower patterns on almost every piece. It was excessive, but intentionally so: the final look was a bridal gown with a three-meter train that took the work of six assistants just to move it around the runway.