Russia, all 17 million (and counting) square kilometres of it, has harboured many a fashion designer. Plenty of them are extremely talented. Georgian-born David Koma grew up in St. Petersburg and is now the creative director of Mugler, as well as designing for his eponymous label. Timur Kim also hails from The Venice of the North. Ulyana Seergenko’s fabulous couture burgeoned in Russia. Stylist-turned-designer Vika Gazinskaya is a street-style star who boasts stockists enviable of any designer. Yulia Kondranina has show at London Fashion Week as part of the Fashion Scout schedule to much acclaim. Another designer—who presents seasonally at Paris Fashion Week—is Valentin Yudashkin. I was cordially invited to his show to be held in the Imperial Ballroom of The Westin Paris - Vendôme. The grande room was lined with a reflective catwalk and was dimly lit by the huge chandeliers and stage lighting. As 70’s music began to boom, a model pounded the runway in a crimson pantsuit. The blazer, a tad longer than usual, was accented with gold buttons, and styled with floaty flared trousers.
A sparkling metallic blue lurex jacket contrasted well with the black lapels and metallic pink pockets. Look 11 was a dark grey cropped jacket with padded shoulders and intricate embroidery and crystal embellishments. Look 19 featured an entirely encrusted, leaf-motif, bomber jacket. That was a standout. Something that didn’t work in this collection was the velvet. Copious amounts of it doesn’t always sit well with me. It’s a tricky material to work with as it is, and this collection didn’t have the perfect execution that’s needed.
The finale gowns, there were many, were stunning. There were feathers, florals, crystals, chiffon, delicately worked silk fashioned into florals and tapestry-esque structures. Being perfectly honest, the eleven gowns shown at the end of the collection were, for the most part, as formulaic as the components were, more original than anything I’ve seen in the past few years from Elie Saab.
A talented designer with some lovely wares; this collection was food for thought. Like the grandiose setting, the clothes were particularly extravagant: but they weren't entirely cohesive.
Photo Credit: style.com