Luscious lips getting a fresh coat of lipstick, bullet holes in the windshield: Ulyana Sergeenko’s invitation set the stage to present the perfect wardrobe for a gangster’s moll — or what to wear for one’s own heists. After all, villains can sometimes have the best taste in clothing.
But her starting point to the season was a picture of her grandmother in a tailored black dress in the late Forties. It meshed well with an underlying thread about the thrifty elegance of people in the then-USSR, when elegance was a matter of underworld connections and contraband.
Cue tailored outfits that played with femme fatale tropes — nipped waists, marked shoulders, wide cropped trousers and also the lingerie-inspired light looks — which fit Sergeenko like the bejeweled white gloves seen on some silhouettes. Segueing into Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and masculine suiting was only a sliding side-step away.
As always, craftsmanship was impressive. Vologda and Yelets laces were overlaid on bustiers or used as kerchiefs pinned on lapels. A bow design was actually a see-through lace appliqué. Bullets and musical instruments appeared as embroideries hiding along hemlines.
The boudoir burlesque theme felt like a ghost note, but Sergeenko hit the bull’s-eye with her severe tailoring. Whether a tweed coat with a scarf attached, a tuxedo with a pleated back that fluttered open at every step or giant overcoats with fur collars, these were the motherlode in this caper.
More From Paris Haute Couture Week Fall 2017:
Chanel Couture Fall 2017: Karl Lagerfeld focused on an essential tenet shared by the Eiffel Tower and couture itself: perfection of structure.
Backstage at Christian Dior Couture Fall 2017: Peter Philips and Guido Palau fashioned the beauty look of the show.
Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2017: The collection blended Baroque references and rock ‘n’ roll — with a soupçon of 3-D printing.
Iris Van Herpen Couture Fall 2017: For her 10th anniversary show, the designer sent out aquatic-themed creations to a performance by underwater group Between Music.
Paris Couture Gains Extra Day as Confidence Returns: France’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture has welcomed five brands as guest members on this season’s schedule.
Couture Week Tells Its Stories on Instagram: The French fashion federation reiterates its social initiatives with a cadre of 11 influential guest posters capturing the mood of a week of couture shenanigans.