Ulyana Sergeenko Couture SS19 // Collection, details
Ulyana Sergeenko Couture
Ulyana Sergeenko is a storyteller. Using the medium of fashion, she keeps telling stories that express how she sees the world and the women of today. This season, inspired by Nobel prize winner Mikhail Sholokhov’s epic novel And Quiet Flows the Don and by the eponymous screen adaptation directed by Sergei Gerasimov in 1957 – a story of Cossack women set during the dramatic days of the revolution and civil war in the early XX century – Ulyana takes her narrative approach one step further, devising her own movie. Entitled Sisterhood and directed by Ellen von Unwerth, with a score by Maxim Fadeev, the opus celebrates the power of female bonding in its many forms, inviting women to unite, interact, share their energy and help each other. Not differently, the collection itself is a joining of forces and collaborations, from von Unwerth to legendary corset makers Cadolle who created the bras, bustiers and lingerie, from milliner Stephen Jones, who concocted the hats and the embroidered balaclavas, to Saga Furs, who provided the skins. Cossack folk costume is the main reference throughout, seen thought the eye of Ulyana in her distinctive silhouettes with a nipped waist. Womanly shapes – dresses, blouses, aprons, shapely coats – feature decorations and details that further expand the narrative. The unique openwork of traditional Krestetsky stitch runs on aprons, scarves and white shirts, while the flowers of the Don valley turn into embroideries on the sleeves of lace blouses, along the hem of dresses and silk capes. Landscape motifs are woven into aprons and pelerins or embroidered in beads on knitwear. Silk fringes adorn the edges of capes and waist scarves; jacquard blouses are embroidered with vintage lace. Taffeta ruffles soften the strictness of coats. The overall effect is one of soft femininity and iron strength.
The richness of the whole story carries in the textures, as silk, jersey, mesh, taffeta, velvet, wool and cashmere are mixed with lace, leather and then goat or fox fur. The color palette is an amalgamation of classic black and white and grey with shades of beige, mustard and ochre, gradations of red, from dusty pink and muted coral to deep burgundy and ruby, plus touches of emerald green and cold blue.
< Accessories empower the idea of the female heroine who fights. Wide leather belts, stamping with flower motifs, chinch the waist. Pouches are attached to them: stamped and decorated, they serve the purpose to hold gloves, not bullets. Multiple row necklaces and earrings and boots with hidden platforms further homage the look of Cossacks women. The heroine stands tall and fierce.