fashion

Ralph & Russo: The couture house designing for Beyoncé and Meghan Markle

Updated 1st February 2018
Ralph & Russo: The couture house designing for Beyoncé and Meghan Markle
Written by Harriet Verney, CNNLondon
Contributors Video by Edward Kiernan, CNN
This feature is part of 'Details,' a new series that captures the creation of some of the world's most intricately made objects
The haute couture world is one of the most elusive and expensive fields within the fashion industry. Put simply, haute couture is the making and creation of one-off, bespoke, hand-crafted garments made from the world's finest fabrics, constructed by skilled specialists from across the globe.
Ralph & Russo is one of the few couture houses selling under the couture moniker, and the only British house in nearly 100 years to be invited to show on the official schedule in Paris for Couture Fashion Week. No mean feat by any standards, least those of the couture governing body Le Chambre Syndicale.
To even be considered to show in Paris a fashion house must follow a set of very specific rules. Ralph & Russo's atelier passed these stringent tests and made their official debuted to the schedule during the Spring-Summer 2014 shows. The Syndicale's former president Didier Grumbach was quoted saying: "We expect savoir faire, which is being lost, and they Ralph & Russo have it."
Meghan Markle wore Ralph & Russo for her official engagement photo in 2017.
Meghan Markle wore Ralph & Russo for her official engagement photo in 2017. Credit: Alexi Lubomirski via Getty Images
Started by partners Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, Ralph & Russo has seen its creations on some of the world's most famous women, including Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie and future princess Meghan Markle for her royal engagement photos.
CNN went behind the scenes before Ralph & Russo's Spring-Summer 2018 show to track the making of one of their dresses, a process involving 300 hours, 20 skilled workers, two cities and one catwalk.
Watch the video above to follow the intricate process of couture dressmaking and see the final dress.