After last season’s furor, Ulyana Sergeenko seems to have retreated to familiar territory, location-wise and in her work, showing her fall couture collection in Paris’ Russian embassy.

As is her wont, her lineup of car coats and day dresses, skirt suits and cocktail frocks tapped heavily into classic definitions of elegance, accompanied by memorable soundbites on respect and women’s rights from former First Lady Michelle Obama, Princess Diana and purportedly, Mother Teresa.

This iteration painted a well-executed time capsule-worthy picture of prim and proper Fifties dressing. The collection read as a metaphor for a wealthy debutante’s journey, starting with the immaculate white dress she’d wear on her first outing in the world — all virginal layers and matching crocodile accessories — and following her all the way to the saccharine confection that she might commission to walk down the aisle.

To her customer — and they were well-represented at the show — such considerations could be beside the point. After all, whatever lifestyle a woman wants today, it’s her prerogative to reach for it.

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