For Fall-Winter 2012-13, Ulyana Sergeenko conjures up the magical feel of a child’s playroom turned into a fashion frenzy, as if the toys had decided to take matters into their own hands. Playful, doll-like elements are mixed with the more masculine style of military uniforms in a game of luxury dress-up. Inspiration comes from an imaginary scene in a vintage cartoon, in which toys left to their own devices act out a comic war in the playroom. This is a fun and feminine ballet in which chintz melds with neoprene, lace with wood, felt, with voile. Military cover-ups such as floor-length capes, bomber jackets and fur-lined parkas play with long, ladylike skirts or more boyish jodhpur pants. Lace helmets and tulle bows bring a whimsical charm to silhouettes in which attention to detail is paramount. The Russian handicrafts that are one of Ulyana Sergeenko’s trademarks are evident in the many accessories, including hand-carved wooden heels and purse frames, embroidered headbands and epaulettes, lace-covered flasks and shakos. Even the velvet buttons are hand-embroidered.
The colour palette flirts with military, fantasy and femininity, ranging from camouflage greens, greys and khakis to brilliant red, vermillion and Prussian blue, with delicate taupe, pink and beige softening the balance. The magical notes of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky add sparkle to brooches and pendants in enamel and semi-precious stones.
This fantastical game of role play marks Ulyana Sergeenko’s début on the Paris catwalk, encompassing the Russian designer’s spirit and love for fine fabrics and craftsmanship.