'The protagonist of the collection is a sleeping beauty woken by the kiss of a prince,' read the show notes to Ulyana Sergeenko's show. It was a naively romantic sentiment and one that worked well with the predominantly innocent and folkloric appearance of the clothes.
The designer had been thinking, she said, about 'Russian Gothic' a movement that never existed although in her dreams it clearly has its place.
'Recalling the fairy tales her grandmother would retell her at night, Ulyana imagined magnificent stories of ancient heroes, Russian beauties, Tsars and princesses.'
Sergeenko's wish to establish a place for Russian craftsmanship at the heart of her designs is well meaning and the fact that she expresses that in so authentic a manner lends her collections considerable charm.
This time around, Russian lace and carpet embroideries decorated a girlish silhouette with a focus on the empire line and on cocooning the body over and above clinging to it. The odd exit - a corseted black velvet playsuit, for example - was the exception that proved that rule.
In keeping with a somewhat darker and perhaps more austere mood than is usual, however, black and grey dominated with flashes of scarlet, coral, forest green and gold adding richness and drama.
In the end, though, this was a gentle showing. Models with Magdelene tears staining their faces and wearing jewelled brooches and clusters of rings on their hands looked as pretty as the proverbial picture