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On Thursday, December 13, a group of well-dressed fashion patrons gathered at Moda Operandi London for an intimate evening of couture and conversation.
Attendees were treated to an intimate event that included an exhibition of 17 couture confections from the London-based fashion house beautifully staged within Moda Operandi’s London location, just between Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens.
Amid festive holiday décor, guests perused the stunning collection before sitting down for a discussion between Santo Domingo and Russo (both featured in Whitewall’s fall 2018 Couture Issue).
When asked about their early interest in design and fashion, we learned that Ralph started selling dresses she made at the remarkably early age of 12. Growing up in a family of couturiers, her talent was recognized and sought after before she was even a teenager.
Ralph met her partner, Michael Russo, by chance in the streets of London, shortly after arriving from her native Australia. The two hit it off and soon made the bold choice to establish a couture house in London, instead of the center of that world—Paris.
The risk paid off, as they soon found so many of their clients and prospective international customers kept a residence in London for business, education, or lifestyle. Santo Domingo agreed, sharing that nearly all Moda Operandi clientele counted at least one home in the city.
Santo Domingo reflected on the transition from a desire for major brand names to emerging designers—a trend she happily indulges within her role.
She described herself as someone whose tastes are always changing, which proves well in her hunt for the next designer (women’s, men’s, home, and otherwise) to bring to her audience. “My taste has evolved, for sure, but most of all I just gravitate toward anything new,” she told us last fall.
Ralph takes a similar approach, reflecting that Ralph & Russo’s relationship to their customers has always been at the core of their business model. “Every creation begins with a meeting in which we will discuss the client’s preferences, take their measurements, and talk them through possible designs,” she told us in a recent interview. “I’ve always found the creative boundaries of couture to be limitless.”