You couldn’t make up Ulyana Sergeenko, the 32 year-old Russian designer married to an insurance billionaire who takes her sartorial cues from her grandmother, shows at Paris couture week (despite being a relative beginner in the industry) and has won the adulation of Lady Gaga, amongst others.
And amongst those ‘others’ you can certainly count the farfetch team - we’ve gone, well, ga-ga for Ulyana’s vintage-infused ladylike elegance, not least because she has mastered the near-impossible art of wearing long, swinging skirts without looking like a hippy.
Babushka meets Grace Kelly, the countless street-style shots of Ulyana suggest that her wardrobe consists of striking pieces mixed in with timeless classics, all worn tastefully and modestly but with lots and lots of polish – think tight, Fifties sweaters teamed with New Look-esque skirts belted neatly at the waist and accessorised with an artfully knotted scarf and immaculate red lipstick.
Her clothes aren’t the obvious designer must-haves, but carefully chosen pieces that can be brought out season after season – light-coloured, luxurious knits, sturdy Winter coats, pretty skirts, tea dresses and statement accessories. She’s not led by trends, but rather has built up a wardrobe of versatile pieces that all go together and never deviate from her chosen aesthetic.
One of the most important things about Ulyana’s attire is the distinctive Russian flavour, but it’s the chic, gilded feel of Anna Karenina rather than the flashy, ostentatiousness the country has gained a reputation for in the last decade or so. Everyone swooned over the costumes Keira Knightley wore in last year’s film adaptation of the Tolstoy classic, but Ulyana is the only one we’ve seen make it work for her in modern life.
It’s nice to know that when it comes to clothes, Ulyana practices what she preaches, her eponymous label looks like an extension of her personal collection – all bare ankles peeping out from under big skirts, and nipped-in waists highlighting feminine curves.
Ulyana Sergeenko's A/W 12 couture collection
Of course with couture prices we can only dream of owning them, but as a newly minted fashion paparazzi favourite, at least there are plenty of pictures of her to borrow inspiration from…