She’s not just a Street-Style Icon but also a Designer, Ulyana Sergeenko is one of the faces of the Russian fashion revolution. I have become overly fond of her fairy tail like appearance. Her unique style doesn’t stop there though, her couture collections are even more enchanting then the last. Although she is an avid shopper of couture and many see her as a couture social dilettante, Ulyana’s modern-day take on traditional Russian culture offers the fashion industry new overly full statement skirts, classic style head pieces and silk chemisier gowns.
Born in Kazakhstan, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, she moved to St. Petersburg as a child. She’d call herself “poor girl, from a small town.” Growing up, clothing was constantly apart of her life, “We had to sew our own clothes. I was well-known in school because I would always change the designs. I broke all the rules. So in a way I was born in couture.”
Ulyana, also a former model now married to billionaire Danil Khachaturov, has became a key couture client to Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Givenchy, and her favourite designer , John Galliano at Dior. “He is a dreamer, like me.”
During one of her interviews at Harpers Bazaar she talked about her first couture finds and mentioned that she’s like Gollum when it comes to fashion. From then on I new she would be one of my favourite designers, she had me sold at Gollum.
– Her first couture purchase was an original Hubert de Givenchy dress, which she found scouring a London flea market when she was still a university student. (She remains an avid flea market shopper. After our interview, she slipped on a red Dior cape she’d found at a Paris market for 300 euros and headed to the Gaultier show in her chauffeured Mercedes.) “I am a customer,” she says. In a world where socialites and celebrities are used to borrowing designer dresses, Sergeenko is all about permanently acquiring the pieces she wants. “It’s funny, because after every show I’m always calling the publicist saying, ‘Please, I need to buy this dress! As soon as possible! Please sell it to me!’ In my head I think everyone in the world wants this dress,” she says, admitting that it’s typically the most avant-garde piece in a designer’s collection. “They’ll say to me, ‘Ulyana, nobody except you wants the dress, so be calm. Be calm!’ I’m like Gollum,” she says, referring to the greedy hobbit from The Lord of the Rings who was singularly obsessed with the One Ring to rule them all. –
In 2011 she started her own couture label in Moscow with a team of 65, and by 2012 she was presenting her collections in the Haute Couture shows in Paris. Her fashion label is unquestionable self-evident and shows Russian influences with modern femininity. Russian culture is highly important to Sergeenko and her label is designed and produced entirely in Russia. Her collections and her style take time to create, she’s a hard worker when it comes to her designs and not to mention her style, she missed a Louis Vuitton show because she spent to much time posing for photographers in her nurse ensemble.
Details are everything to Sergeenko from handmade lace, lamp shade skirts, hand painted porcelain buttons, beaded fringe, and bloomers as pants. The fact that her latest designs relate to Scarlett O’Hara and her infamous curtain dress is only another reason why Ulyana is an influential designer to me and one to follow. Check out her latest collection at Vogue.
Check out Ulyana Sergeenko first Paris Couture show A/W12-13 here.
Ulyana’s unforgettable street style.
Check out more of Ulyana’s Street-Style here.