Go to Rissian version

Ulyana Sergeenko SS2014

Feb 09, 14 Ulyana Sergeenko SS2014

Designer Ulyana Sergeenko, whose name first appeared in the schedule of the Paris haute couture week four seasons ago, immediately took a special place, dividing fashionistas into two camps. Fans, which count Russian oligarchs wives, top model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, former editor of French Vogue Carine Roitfeld and eccentric Japanese Vogue editor Anna Dello Russo, excitedly praise the style and taste of the self-taught designer and demonstrate by example the “wearing-ness” of her clothes . And critics who see in Ulyana dresses more theater than couture.

Even before her ‘Parisian seasons’ Sergeenko regularly attended major fashion weeks, sitting in the front row as a VIP client. Then came a period of a “street-look star”, whose every appearance in front of photographers and bloggers became a small fashion sensation.

Having received the necessary experience and obtained a substantial financial support from her husband, Ulyana arranged a ‘pen test’, organizing several presentations in Moscow, instantly bringing fame to a novice designer. Original, rather dollish style of a ‘peasant girl’ hit the spot of Moscow beau-monde. Her style became copied, while Ulyana herself accused of ‘invented nothing new, but only digging through the archives of the masters’.

Ignoring spiteful critics, the girl, brought up on Russian fairy tales, Soviet cartoons and French 60s movies with Brigitte Bardot, dreamed to conquer the Olympus of the fashion world – Paris. And she did. No wonder that you can see tears in the eyes of Ulyana at the show final. She did not seem to believe that her dream came true, and this season for the fourth time.

For the theme of the summer collection Ulyana chose a trip on a Soviet ‘Oriental Express’, which track runs along the former republics of the once great empire: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The images are permeated with the atmosphere of Nicholas Roerich paintings and Leon Bakst decorations. The heroine of the collection is “femme fatale”, free and seductive adventurer, embarking on a journey through space and time. In the same train with her ride artists and writers, aristocrats and swindlers.

Lightweight fabrics, embroidery, flowing gowns, skirts over trousers à la Cossack, broad forms, invariably gathered at the waist in a corset, trains and geometric prints in Soviet Orientalism style – as if in the collection meet subtle East and contemporary West, male and female.

The color palette is emotional and sensual: a combination of cream, deep blue, green and red is intended to convey unsteadiness of a mood, reflecting the change of scenery outside the windows. Nobility of fabrics: from satin, muslin and taffeta to silk and organza – became the signature of couture collections by Sergeenko.

There is practically no theatrics in the new collection, and the ‘Russian doll’ style, from which Ulyana started, is totally gone.

Photo credits: Ulyana Sergeenko


Related stories: