There are different kinds of couture fans: those who want it to move with the times, embracing modernity à la Raf Simons at Dior; those who long for the theatrics and drama of Galliano's heyday; and then there are those of British-based couture house Ralph & Russo where old meets new seamlessly - with just a little couture fairy dust sprinkled on top.
As far as it could be from the usual concept of the fashion-week spectacle, the Ralph & Russo show takes couture back to its inception - with the women who actually buy the dresses we were about to see waiting eagerly for their debut, some actually texting designer Tamara Ralph to ensure that the one per territory that the brand allows will not end up in the wardrobe of a rival princess or Russian heiress.
The Autumn/Winter 2015/16 Couture collection is called 'Enchanted Splendour'. Set against the backdrop of an enchanted forest, Tamara Ralph’s dreamy fairy tale like creations fit the princess theme from the neck down to the toes. Her work is a tour de force of elaborate design and labor-intensive artistry and the result is a sublime blend of tradition and modernity.
"We had a lot of vintage Sixties embroideries that we redeveloped, so that was the starting point in terms of fabric," Ralph says. "The Ralph & Russo girl this season is strong, she's beautiful; the shapes are more sensual, but within that we still have a range of styles for all our clients."