A winter forest with the bony fingers of bare branches — the Valentin Yudashkin show had the glow of embers in fiery colours, and symbols of deer antlers. It read like a Russian fairy tale.
But the designer put just the right amount of primitive forest on his runway, splicing those references with streamlined clothes for international travellers — not least his glamorous front row guests.
The show opened with the flame red that became a motif of the collection, but as trousers with a long, shapely jacket or a satin bustier, these colours were just brief mentions of the burning effects to come.
Yudashkin’s sharp cutting was enhanced by metallic fabrics that put a sheen on his tailoring. Velvet absorbed darker tones in colours like ink blue and forest green.
I liked the poetry of a motif of velvet autumnal leaves on a bomber jacket or tunic. The designer delved deeper into the winter woods with a rich embellishment of ostrich feathers with holograms.
But Yudashkin’s skill was to embrace Russian folklore with those stag antlers rising from the bodice of a billowing evening gown, which would still have international appeal.