Ulyana Sergeenko Couture Fall Winter 2013 Paris

There is nothing subtle about Ulyana Sergeenko’s collections, nor does she make any apologies for the downright theatrical mood that she sets for each. Certainly, the Russian socialite-turned-designer knows a thing or two about couture, considering her past collections. This latest one saw an impressive turnout of big industry names that would make any designer in their third season green with envy. Outside, a mob scene of street style photographers and their prey. Inside, a guest list that read like a Who’s Who of upmarket glossies’ party pieces: Anna Dello Russo surprisingly restrained in black and white, photographer Ellen von Unwerth, Natalia Vodianova sans boyfriend Antoine Arnault...

Blood orange light bathed the entire venue, giving it an eerie look that would have not looked amiss in the darker passages of a fairy tale. She’s nothing but a consummate storyteller and fairy tales are without a doubt the perfect setting for her clothes (save for a couple corseted one-piece suits worn with thigh high boots, it was all remarkably demure).  Where else would a split sleeved coat dress made entirely of braided fabric be appropriate?

And her well-trained eye helps her translate her ideas into sophisticated silhouettes where every detail falls into place beautifully, from Fabergé egg quilting, to hidden details along the edge of sleeves. All well thought out, all fitted to transform the wearer into Sergeenko lookalikes. The heavy silhouettes had a touch of her previous fall’s Russian belles.

But her strong personal style may be part of her pitfal.  Before she truly breaks as a designer, she needs to step through the mirror of her own dressing room and into that of her prospective clientele.

- Lily Templeton
 

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