Ulyana Sergeenko turned to Russian folk stories as the inspiration for her third couture collection. More specifically, the “Russian Gothic” theme was a suitable foil for her trademark style, which sits somewhere between Victorian governess and Fifties bombshell. Models stepped out from a frame shaped like a looking glass, wearing her signature high-necked dresses, transparent panel details hinting at a more subversive edge. A red velvet dress with whorls of fabric at the waist suggested Little Red Riding Hood all grown up.

The level of craftsmanship was impressive, with details like honeycomb ruching, tear-shaped cutouts, Vologda lace underlays and hand-embroidery, all of which she executed with a sense of control. Standouts included a shaved beaver cape with a black funnel neck embroidered with flowers and river pearls.

If there was any doubt that Sergeenko, the wife of Russian oligarch Danil Khachaturov, could hold her own alongside Paris couture designers, the number of women in the audience sporting her distinctive designs was telling of a different story.

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