Hazine

09.07.2016 - Katherine Koniecki

Designer

Ulyana Sergeenko

EXALTED STREET STYLE IMAGES FROM TOMMY TON TO THE SARTORIALIST MAY HAVE BEEN THE CULPRITS TO ULYANA SERGEENKO’S FURIOUS FASHION FORAY, BUT IT IS THE STORYTELLING OF THE COUTURE COLLECTIONS WHICH SHE DESIGNS UNDER HER OWN NAME THAT HAVE REVIVED THE SOVIET FAIRY-TAILED TSARS WHO TELL THEIR TALES BETWEEN MOSCOW AND PARIS.

Her Russian roots stand clear in every couture week collection shown in Paris’ Théâtre Marigny. Theatrics do in fact play among each collection and it is her heritage-bound loyalty to craftsmanship that immerses Ulyana Sergeenko’s world with the showmanship set by the Chambre Syndicale.

No stranger to sourcing her own cloth, Ulyana’s youth in the former USSR funneled the spirit of revolution with which she foreshadowed and crafted her own clothes by breaking all the rules. Alongside her marriage to billionaire oligarch Danil Khachaturov, couture designers entered her world and her business has ascended a dual luxury through her view as a key client and couture designer.

BUSINESS REVOLUTION

Russia’s heightened fashion revolution has been fledged by the staggering lights on the faces to have infiltrated the boom. A finely tuned entrepreneurial eye has been the prompt to Russia’s high-primed fashion clique, Ulyana Sergeenko among them alongside her compatriots: Buro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma, designer Vika Gazinskaya, and model Elena Perminova. They have been dubbed ‘Czarinas’, Russian empress - an accolade fitting fashion pack that illustrates Ulyana Sergeenko loyalty to her mother Russia and the ripples of Soviet fantasy in every one of her collections.

Launching her eponymous brand has been a green light into a luxury market with which she has explored with more rigor than business sense alone. She is a self-proclaimed dreamer who cites her muses to be her grandmother, ‘Babuszka’ and John Galliano. Dreaming beyond her couture inhabited closet – Chanel, Valentino, Jean Paul Gauthier, she has been collecting vintage for years and has rummaged through Paris flea markets to find gems like her 300 Euro red Dior cape. Her treasure trove took a turn towards designing and Ulyana’s custom pieces were then produced by Russian designers under the direction of her own design ideas. Following a few episodes of her design ideas being worked into the designers’ collections, she surrendered to the feat of creating her own couture castle.

MOSCOW'S LOYAL SOUL

If there was a first order mandate that Ulyana set out along with her right hand man, PR and Brand Manager, Frol Burimskiy, it was to create a brand that stood with the integrity of being fully designed and produced in Russia. In likeness to ‘les petites mains’ of Paris’ couture ateliers, Ulyana works with 60 to 100 plus couturiers in her Moscow atelier.

At the creation process the story firmly sits under the collection’s skin. Here, Ulyana and her team create the dreamscapes that finely blends some of history’s most iconic characters with a soviet soul. Fall/Winter 2015 told the story of inner drama within the intricacies of Eastern bloc communal apartments in St. Petersburg, set by glamour of the film noire femme fatale and laced with the soviet sub-line of secret service spies and peasants. A previous season rendered heroine Scarlett O’Hara caught up in the whirlwind of Russian artist Yuri Vasnetsov’s story book of illustrated fantasies.

Letting herself seep through the bounty of dreams that lead her collections, Ulyana’s stringently dedicated work ethic has been cited by her friend Natalia Vodianova to be the counter intuitive jetsetter, whereby high mileage happens with firmly planted feet in her Moscow atelier. Her first Fall/Winter 2012 couture show in Paris was scheduled between Chanel and Armani Privé and she was given a standing ovation by front row lights Carine Roitfeld and Grace Coddington. Her three year culmination has been met with some critique of theatrics and the costume-like nature of her vision have brought wearability to the fore. Given, if couture has the allure to reimagine the lavish stories of Ulyana Sergeenko’s modern day Brigitte Bardot on the Orient Express en route through the fairy tailed terrain of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, then her richly created anthology is certainly one well told.

 

Short Facts

Trademark

Ulyana Sergeenko couture collections are clearly defined by her infusion of iconic muses mixed with Soviet history. Moulded bustiers, bias cut chiffon gowns, traditional Russian embroidery and tiny tucked waists are some Ulyana Sergeenko couture trademarks. From a personal style stance, Sergeenko’s signature look holds old Hollywood glamour, a fitted sweater tucked into a high-waisted, fifties-styled floor length skirt and the look is one often mirrored by the crowd that attends Ulyana Sergeenko Paris couture shows.

Distinctiveness

Each Ulyana Sergeenko couture collection is designed and produced in Russia by the extensive team of couturiers in her Moscow atelier. All craftsmen and women are finely trained and their Russian artistry is the hand by which each piece is completed with impeccable detail.

Anecdote

Ulyana’s personal style stole the camera since the day she first appeared as a client at three to four major Paris couture shows a day. Her outfits have always verged on extravagant and she has taken runway looks to the streets in their fully preserved character. She appeared at the Louis Vuitton show wearing the full LV and Richard Prince nurse outfit, complete with the monogram veil and she ended up missing the show in the photographer furry (and her willingness) to be photographed outside.

Ulyana Sergeenko during Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015

Timeline

2011 - Street Snaps

Tommy Ton snaps Ulyana in a full Louis Vuitton and Richard Prince nurse outfit, LV monogram veil and that look spurs her prolific street style icon status even further.

2012 - Glamour Call

Following her first Paris couture show for Fall/Winter 2012, Glamour names Ulyana Sergeenko trendsetter of the year.

2013 - Luxury Homegrounds

Ulyana returns to her homegrown Kazakhstan for the launch and ever-expanding breadth of the luxury good market in the form Boutique 1.

2015 - Honourable Beats

La Chambre Syndicale makes her an official guest member. Following that honour, Rihanna wears an Ulyana Sergeenko Spring 2015 wool pinstriped floral embroidered coat in her latest music video.

Photo:

© Imaxtree

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