Ralph & Russo Couture Fall Collection 2020

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Tamara Ralph combined real-life designs with digital couture brought to life by an avatar, and it was difficult to tell the difference.

When lockdown struck, Tamara Ralph felt the need to change direction. Missing travel and with the environment in mind, she sought to create a dreamlike collection inspired by the Seven Wonders of the World, combining digital creations brought to life by an avatar with real-life designs.

“It’s just as time-consuming to create digitally, it took weeks and weeks just to create one piece,” said Ralph over the phone ahead of the online showcase. “It’s a really interesting way to create.”

Starting from sketches, the designs were transposed either in fabric or on screen. Given the attention to detail, in the video created to showcase the designs, it would have been difficult to spot the difference, were it not for the escapism of the virtual landscapes.

Set against the backdrop of the world’s landmarks, avatar Hauli — a Swahili word meaning strength and power — paraded striking creations from a flowing gown adorned with pixelated flowers to a voluminous design in swathes of mustard fabric. On the real-life models, shot in a studio, pastel gowns in pleated tulle mingled with metallic draped satin numbers embellished with crystal embroideries.