Haute Couture gets romantic with Ralph & Russo and Giambattista Valli

Romance ruled on the haute couture catwalks of Paris on Monday, as Ralph & Russo and Giambattista Valli showed off their Fall/Winter 2015 collections.

British-based fashion house Ralph & Russo led the way with a fairytale extravaganza of old-school enchantment, featuring gorgeous, glittering gowns as its centrepiece. From silk puffball dresses to romantic ruffled column skirts, everything about the show was decadently feminine.

Ralph & Russo - AFP / Patrick Kovarik

Creative director Tamara Ralph played with volumes in bold and subtle ways, balancing out the puffball structures with whimsical chiffon overlays that lent embroidered full-length dresses a swishy effect. Narrow forms were offset by billowing ostrich feather capes or gauzy shoulder panels, while a series of slinky Seventies-style jumpsuits kept things modern.

Fabrics were luxurious, ranging from graceful chiffons to Chantilly lace with touches of glass beading, brocade and fur perfecting the luxurious aesthetic. The color palette, too, was exquisitely royal, comprising crisp whites and creams, blush pinks, soft metallics and burnished jewel tones.

Things took on a more contemporary form over at Giambattista Valli, but vestiges of romance could be seen in the voluminous skirts and dresses in cascades of tulle that trailed along the catwalk. Elsewhere, pretty minidresses became grandiose with the addition of sweeping trains and tops became a statement thanks to fluid peplums that fell to the back of the ankle.

But amidst the billowing maxi dresses and the Grecian-style robes there were slim-fitting lace trousers, straight-cut minis and minimalistic smocks keeping things fresh.

The Italian house also showed its romantic side in the swathe of delicate floral motifs in sweet pinks and masculine blacks against an opulent backdrop of silver and cream. Yet once again there was an exciting contrast running throughout the collection, with flashes of acidic orange, mustard yellow and emerald green contributing a psychedelic undercurrent to the show.
 

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