From highly anticipated runway shows to a private showroom. From all beloved Russian matryoshka to a falling star-designer? 

It's been quite some time since one of the most popular Russian style icons turned couture designer presented her new Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The world got separated into two parts once again. Into those, who love, adore and respect Ulyana and her creations and those, who don't. The second ones, by the way, got a serious argument against Sergeenko and Co - a review from a really respectful website that had something like two negative comments. At least, I saw  only two. And yes, I'm not going to say out loud all the name of the websites and names of Ulyana's anti-fans. It's not about them.
It's about this. The change of location, completely incomprehensible use of hand labor from Georgia and Armenia and, finally, a fairytale-ish concept of Ulyana Sergeenko Couture itself. And now lets get through all that step by step. Spring/Summer 2015 Couture collection became the sixth one in Ulyana Sergeenko's piggy bank. The previous five were shown in a runway concept that were hosted in the most luxurious places in Paris. Presentation of the new collection, sixth in a row, was held in a private showroom concept in one of the Le Bristol hotel rooms. From here the first discussion comes up. Instead of a runway show with high budget involved Ulyana Sergeenko went for a more budget-friendly idea of private showroom at the hotel. So here it is the fall of the star that haven't even been a designer. Okay, Ulyana can hardly be called a designer, she never went to study design at university. This is the rule of the Western world - first undertake design courses at Parsons or Central St. Martins, then prove with all your blood and sweat that your three years at university were worth it, and only after that claim to become a creative director of Dior or Maison Margiela. In the Eastern world thing are pretty different (and Latvia happens to be part of this exact world), the most important here is money and the right team, and the fact that you have no entire idea to sew or draw, or know nothing about garment construction, will be covered by those who work for you. It's a digression, but lets go back to Ulyana. Yes, she's not a professional designer, but what's wrong with showrooms? Lets be honest, couture doesn't bring huge profits. The real profitable sections for fashion brands are perfume, makeup products, accessories, shoes, bags, I mean pieces that an ordinary person can afford to spend money on. Couture is a mix of high class beauty and craftsmanship. And I can't spot anything criminal in Sergeenko's team decision not to invest millions of Euros (tens, even hundreds of millions) into a runway show, but rather to replace it with , call it, a more budget option of a hotel room, where the team managed to recreate the atmosphere of the Caucasus.
I feel like few words about the collection are needed, which is impregnated with motives of the Caucasus, Armenia and Georgia, as well as Parajanov's movie-poem "The Color of Pomegranates". What is really striking about this collections - hand embroidery, i.e. hours of handmade work of Russian-Georgian-Armenian masters. It was this kind of work that made some people question: "Why you should involve hand labor, if you can get a piece of fabric with ready-made embroidery or simply replace it with prints?". True, why would you glorify craftsmanship of Caucasian countries when there's a much cheaper and easier option? But wait a second, if everything is fine with my memory, the house of Chanel also uses craftsmanship of unknown masters from different parts of France, many other designer brands do it as well... Then what's the issue?
And finally, lets move to the last point - the concept of Ulyana Sergeenko Couture or simply "Ulyana's fairytale". Across the Internet you can find opinions that Ulyana's creations are nothing more than a fictional world of wealthy people, where women pretend to be fragile and delicate creatures. What's wrong with creating an image of a fragile woman? The fact that women achieved emancipation doesn't mean that we are not fragile anymore and don't like all these "Gone with the Wind" and Lermontov's female images. As they say in the business world, if there's a demand, there's always a supply. If Ulyana Sergeenko and Co have created six couture collections in a row, then it's not a simple whim of Russian dolls. And I'm not even talking about all the hype that is usually created by Ulyana's shows. In my personal opinion, Ulyana Sergeenko and From Burimskiy, who actually are the faces of the house, have chosen the right course of popularizing the culture of Russia, Georgia, Armenia and other Caucasian countries. It's not only about collections and shows that are usually supported by spectacular scenery and atmosphere, an important role in the strategy of this creative duo is played by their Instagram accounts, especially Frol's one, who every now and then travels through cities and villages of an endless mother Russia. It's Frol's Instagram that blew me the idea of a tour across Russia, which one time I will undertake and call it "Following the steps of Frol Burimskiy".
Just to finish off I wanted to sat that yes, as you may already got my point, I'm from the first group of people, who are totally positive about both Ulyana and her creations. Whatever people say, but she went a really long way to become not only an icon of Russian style, but also the head of the couture house. Call me a dreamer, but I believe that the day will come and I'll wear Ulyana's dress, by that time Ulyana and Frol won't give up on conquering the catwalks of Couture Week in Paris.          

Photo Courtesy: Ulyana Sergeenko and Frol Burimskiy Instagram Pages, Interview Magazine