The incredibly talented Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko came at us full force but with a ready to wear touch for the Couture fall/winter 2016-2017 Paris Fashion Week show. Off the bat we already can point out that fringes in the stringy, soft swaying manner are to be a huge hit on the runway and a trend to be looking for when creating your own day or nightwear.
The designer’s creations often take us on a tour of Russian history and over the past nine years we have seen motifs that point towards everything from the Orient Express to the Soviet architecture of St. Petersburg, among many others. She has incorporated traditional ornamentation from Russian minority groups as well as bringing us now to something less traditional and closer to the heart, fashion statements from the childhood seen in the somewhat utopian ‘60s Russia.
It is definitely worthy of praise when a designer can take elements of her own world and recreate it into a wearable piece of artistry, weaving into every strand the love for country, memory of days gone and hope for a better future.
While the Ulyana Sergeenko Couture fall 2016 collection is rather toned down, that is not a bad thing at all; Sergeenko brings in new sensibilities and an emphasis on the professional instead, lovingly including everything from tweed pantsuits to sporty Lurex bodysuits sporting her brand symbol. She goes for the overtly sexy with the inclusion of garters and thigh-high hosiery, while it remains clear that showing off the breasts under a thin layer of cloth is still very much in the couture agenda.
We don’t really understand the girdle-garter combination, nor the bared breasts, but the collection for the most part is all about Soviet Russia and there is little we do not love about that. After all, art, high fashion and history make for a pretty impressive combination when done so correctly.
What we probably notice best towards the middle of the collection is the use of natural motifs, ranging from mountains overlooking the seas to deer among the trees, playing with the warm and the cooler hues to create pieces that even Babushka would be proud of. We see botanical imagery as well that inspired the jacquard that subtly appear on the skirt suits, while the country’s colder weather is easily the statement of the collection once we notice the very traditionally thick ribbed knit tights that pooled at the knees and ankles.
Those loafers, though are probably the highlight of each creation and very much embody the red diploma receiving schoolgirl who enjoys working hard on her grades in university. Native handiwork is also apparent, along with the highly time consuming mosaic furs that are fully reminiscent of the Soviet needlepoint, humbly found in the homes of the people who resided there in the ‘60s especially.
Then again, those high necked column dresses are probably what will be showcased most on the red carpets in the coming days so that is certainly something to be watching for. Overall, a very good collection from our Russian favorite!
Photos courtesy of Vogue