Like so many of her young, stylish compatriots, Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko turned up the glam-o-meter for her Fall 2015 Haute Couture collection. Part of a charming, slightly disarming and perfectly polished group of Russian Fashion Revolutionaries (as I like to call them) including the likes of Miroslava Duma, Vika Gazinskaya, Natasha Goldenberg and Elena Perminova. These entrepreneurial stylistas wrote their own tickets as bloggers, designers, fashion editors and naturally, street-style mavens extraordinaire, each in their own right. Arriving in force and en masse, these ambitious Russian girls have made quite the impression on the fashion world, laying claim to a new breed of high-maintenance, highly motivated, high fashion.
Not that I purport to know what makes these ladies tick, but its clear that they all have a strong love of femininity, sophistication and luxury in common. Sergeenko's collection oozes pure woman from top to toe. Decadent tactile fabrics and curvy hourglass cuts are jazzed with teetering high heels, fur, loads of bare skin, and yes, even an exposed breast or two. How do you say 'Free The Nipple' in Russian?
Nonetheless, Sergeenko's distinctive hand in haute couture suggests some amount of Russian story-telling or allegory in her collections, and for the moment it is part of her DNA as a designer, charming signatures that bring a bit of her heritage to the table. It's refreshing to see a completely new point of view, one that hasn't been done to death.
Russian ballerina (bags) wear tutus made of flurry fluff in snow white and powdery blue, others appear in lucite diorama clutches. Tiny dancers set on a tiny stage, frozen in time. My favorite purse of all time absolutely has to be Sergeenko's ice cream cone clutch. Faberge-egg inspired satin waffle cones topped with fuzzy pastel fur scoops. Delicious! Fur pom-poms decorate the toes of sky-scraper stilettos and suggestive open-toe leather boots. Jeweled millinery netted caps and smudged makeup suggest a late night out, or a rush to one that hasn't yet begun. Oversized shades and smart-girl glasses call to mind that ultimate glamour girl, Miss Monroe herself in How To Marry A Millionaire, decked out in all manner of goofy girlie frames. As if you could tame that level of beauty with nerdy eyewear! Tsk Tsk. You're only calling attention to it my darlings.
This is a collection steeped in glamorous references. One that celebrates women as women in all their frilled, fur-trimmed fabulous finery. No need for a Russian translation here, just use your native tongue, the universal language of style.