Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Gabriela is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

Ralph & Russo Spring/Summer 2018: Paris Fashion Week

Ralph & Russo Paris Fashion Week FW18

Finding the right words to describe haute couture is its own individual challenge, especially so because the designers who present during Haute Couture week had undergone so many years of discipline and have been trained to perfection.

Sure, each atelier has their own individual features and client who they cater to, but they produce such incredibly beautiful garments that leave one in awe.

Ralph & Russo: PFW FW18

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At its core, Ralph and Russo’s SS18 haute couture show was inspired by creative director Tamara Ralph’s interest in eastern styles and culture, while bringing together the signature of the brand – its identity and aesthetic all into one. Overall, silhouettes looked very much to the past, sometimes using the elegance that comes with conservatism and confidence to ground the looks.

We saw eastern shapes and silhouettes combined with amazing touches of the west and the past, particularly of the 1920s flapper, delivering an exceedingly sexy feminism of times past that is quite simply unmatched by anything else today. The designers have not forgotten that the roaring twenties are soon making a comeback, and featured ostrich feathers and fringe to make anyone infatuated with the decade swoon.

I adored look numbers 12 and 40, flapper fringe dresses on steroids. The way those tassels wave and swing as the model paraded down the runway was not only exciting but sensual.

One of the more moving looks was number 19, a deep black velvet ball gown, which moved quite elegantly on its model. Its manipulated shape produced a diagonal, which quite naturally reminded me of the composition of a piece of art, which the high slit so beautifully contrasted.

Another beautiful number was look number 25, a velvet column gown chicly adorned with ostrich feathers and geniously finished with an ever so delicate but blush pink opera coat finished with an incredible cuff. The contrast in color and weight of the fabrics is a challenge, but still such a beautiful statement in the end. They do this, while still delivering an incredibly elegant look despite a contrast some others may shy away. It shows the careful thought, precision and desire to deliver something new and unexpected on behalf of the designers.

The eastern inspiration emerges more clearly on the occasional look, such as number one, an extraordinarily sexy kimono that I imagine Kiki de Montparnasse would be happy to wear, and number 39, a jumpsuit certainly inspired by a sari, but made sweeter, more delicate and poignantly elegant.

Each time, with each look, the models exuded a lot of moneyed elegance and dazzled in beauty, though with strength and determination.

I have so many favorites in this season’s collection that I can’t help but create 56 different scenarios and imagine where I would wear each number.

The designers are visionaries – extraordinary artists that understand the form of women so well. Dare I say they are like sculptors, so careful with perceiving what works best – what moves and what falls beautifully on a woman.


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