Ulyana Sergeenko throws a glamorous party with Dita von Teese
The main feature of Ulyana Sergeenko’s heroine is her thirst for life in all its aspects. After last season’s oriental aventure to Samarkand, she decided to go to a luxurious, carefree party to present this season's Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection.
This time the Ulyana Sergeenko woman looked like Louise May Foster – Shirley MacLaine’s character in 1964's black comedy What a Way to Go! The film's heroine only wants a simple life of domestic bliss, but all four of her husbands die, managing to make her very rich in the process. Ultimately though, money does not bring her happiness. The character of Louise May Foster was, in turn, inspired by the legendary Mona von Bismarck, who rose from humble beginnings to become an American fashion icon thanks to her spouses – she was married five times – and counted the likes of Truman Capote, Diana Vreeland and Grace Kelly among her friends
The style icon adored the color pink, which was very present not only in the collection, but also in the luxurious Hôtel Mona Bismarck which hosted the show. One could see the Eiffel Tower right through the windows of the halls, which were richly decorated with gold.
The collection itself matched the glamorous spirit of the place: the models were dressed in both maxi and micro evening dresses and walked to the dynamic electronic soundtrack that had many guests dancing along tentatively, as there was only standing room for the audience. A number of garments were decorated with feathers, sequins and fur and channelled a luxurious, classic movie vibe. It was definitely Ulyana Sergeenko's most sparkling collection. “We wanted everything to shimmer and shine and to create a sparkling mood, as if everything has been splashed a little bit with champagne,” said the designer, who was wearing a Faidee ruby necklace, to FashionNetwork.com after the show.
But the Ulyana Sergeenko woman turned out to be not only glamorous, but also modern and ironic. The two main themes of the collection were cats and money. Cats could be seen on the backs of shoes, in the form of bags and headbands, and on dresses – both as cups on bodices and as a top crafted from the profiles of two graceful felines looking at each other. Money – more precisely, puffy bundles of organza and Vologda lace banknotes from the Ulyana Sergeenko Bank – appeared in boas and cloaks, making an unusual replacement for fur.
The gladiolus was chosen as one of the main floral themes of the collection, appearing on jacquard skirts, dresses and shoes, while embroidered roses could be seen on mohair sweaters. The principal materials were silk crepe, shiny chiffon, silk organza, wool and, of course, lace. The color palette ranged from various shades of pink, green, blue, yellow, gold and silver to black and white.
This time the show featured not only professional models, but also friends of the fashion house and Sergeenko herself: Italian actress Ornella Muti, cult stylist Jenke Ahmed Tailly (the first man to take to the catwalk for this luxury brand) and artist Nadia Lee Cohen, until finally, at the end of the show, Dita von Teese appeared to the enthusiastic cheers of the public. Sergeenko explained the decision to have people other than models on the runway as follows: “We wanted to convey the character of each heroine and show that this party was absolutely for everyone. Ornella is an actress, Nadia is a filmmaker, Dita... you know her. We thought that it would be funny, appropriate and more in line with the mood”.
The show's overriding atmosphere was one of carefree fun. Was this, perhaps, a reaction to current global geopolitical tensions awakening a desire to forget all about one's worries? Sergeenko shared her thoughts with FashionNetwork.com. “This is not only a political situation, it is linked with pressure on people in general, the development of the media, and 'Instagramness'," she said. "People are constantly in a race. I just wanted my characters to relax.”
And, judging by the smiles of both the heroines and guests of her show, she succeeded.
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