Like 100-proof vodka, the Russian-ness of Ulyana Sergeenko’s Paris debut was potent and intoxicating — therefore better taken in small doses. The Moscow-based socialite, fashion designer and photographer laid out a folkloric red carpet at the Théâtre Marigny and flooded the runway with haute versions of peasant pinafores and Kremlin guard uniforms.
It was a varied ode to the motherland: floor-sweeping woolen military coats edged in mink one minute; micro rompers with riding boots the next. Yet it was clear Sergeenko loves a heavy Fifties skirt with sweep and flare.
They came in tiered mink, quilting or heavy wools, balanced with cozy mohair sweaters — the shoulders occasionally edged in red berrylike pom-poms. Among the most arresting looks in the show was a frothy, delicately spangled cocktail dress in black lace, the waist nipped and the hips padded out with a frilly peplum.
While some elements bordered on kitsch — a quilted and bedazzled army flask anyone? — there’s an old-world charm to Sergeenko’s doll-like clothes that adds a nice kick to the couture cocktail.