The Russian fashion pack makes it big with Ulyana Sergeenko’s couture debut | Hollywood yohana

The Russian fashion elite (also known as the “Russian Fashion Pack”) are having a moment right now, one that may have culminated yesterday in street-style-star-turned-designer Ulyana Sergeenko’s debut couture collection.
Rolling out right in between Chanel and Armani Privé’s shows, the couture collector’s first-ever collection was an ode to her country’s folklore and heritage, complete with babushkas, hand-carved wooden shoes and fur-lined military coats. Grace Coddington and Carine Roitfeld sat front row, which if anything, is a testament to Sergeenko and the rest of the Russian Fashion Pack’s appeal right now.
“America has Jackie O, and the world has Audrey Hepburn, but Russia never had a fashion icon of the moment,” Anya Ziourova, the fashion director of the Russian version of Tatler, told the New York Times in a feature titled “The Czarinas Are Back.” “Maybe that is what is happening: the modern Russian icons are being born.”
If street style blogs are any indication of style, then the Russian fash-pack has it in spades. Something about their individually distinct aesthetics and sartorial risk-taking has caught heavy-hitting and influential photographers’ eyes, turning them into fashion stars overnight.
Take designer Vika Gazinskaya, for example: the Russian gamine quickly gained visibility online, thanks to heavily circulated photographs of her by Garance Doré, Scott Schuman and Tommy Ton across the blogosphere. In a strategic move, she wore her own designs to the fashion show circuit, and thanks to the blogosphere pics, the move worked out: her pieces are now carried at Colette in Paris and Fivestory in New York.
There’s also Miroslava (or Mira) Duma, the daughter of a Russian senator and the former editor of Russia’s Harper’s Bazaar, who has become as known (if not more so) for her quirky, colourful style as her popular fashion website Buro 24/7.
And then, of course, there’s Sergeenko, arguably the leader of the pack: like her couture collection on Tuesday, the former model’s signatures are full, ‘50s-esque skirts paired with tight wool sweaters, dramatic Russian touches like babushkas and stunning makeup that hearkens back to another time.
The leading ladies of the Russian Fashion Pack may have some deep pockets (Sergeenko’s husband is an insurance billionaire), but their inimitable style and work is what’s really distinguishing them among their peers.

Anya Ziourova, fashion director of Russian Tatler: “We were a closed country for a long time, so for a while, it was like a kid going into a candy shop. . . it is only now, in the last five years, that taste has been evolving into something more sophisticated, something that might attract people beyond Russia.”
Suzy Menkes: “By dipping into the folklore world of peasants and soldiers, rather than czars, Ms. Sergeenko produced appealing day clothes, like knitted sweaters with full skirts, and gave her show a sweet freshness.”
Randi Bergman, online editor: “I’ve always had a soft spot for the extravagant elements of Russian history and culture and so naturally, I freak out when these ladies show up at Fashion Week. Before Sergeenko’s couture debut, I think the group existed more on the fringes, at least in North America, so I hope this collection helps them infiltrate in a real and impactful way. Personally, I need a lot more haute babushka in my life.”

5 minutes with Belynda MacPherson | Hollywood yohana

Surf, sand and the soft stuff. When it comes to Australian designer Belynda Macpherson’s cashmere line, Banjo & Matilda (banjoandmatilda., it’s all about mixing luxury yarns with Down Under design twists. Launched in 2008, this sumptuous collection is now available exclusively at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada. Here, the designer talks knitwear essentials and working with her famous sister-in-law.

When did your love for knitwear begin?
“When I started ballet at age four. My skin was so sensitive that my mother hand-knitted all of my ballet wraps and legwarmers in cashmere. To this day, when I wear cashmere knits, I feel a sense of security and calm.”
What’s behind the name of your company?
“When I was pregnant with my son, my sister-in-law Elle suggested I call him Banjo. I ended up naming him Xander, but the name always resonated as something beautifully Australian.”
You’ve collaborated with Elle on a few occasions. What’s it like working together?
“We have an easy relationship that’s based on mutual admiration and respect.
I am totally in awe of her achievements and elegance. Above all, we both adore cashmere!”
What are your favourite pieces from the fall collection?
“Our 100 per cent cashmere lounging pants are a necessary luxury. I have four pairs on constant rotation. I’m also a fan of our classic sailing sweater—vintage elegance 101.”
How would you describe your personal style?
“I’m a mother, a wife and a business owner, so my [clothes] take me from preschool drop-off to a business meeting. I’m a sucker for ballet flats, jeans, a cashmere sweater and a blazer—although I love adding a vintage Rolex and Hermès scarf for a belt.”

Danier continues its collaboration series for spring with Philip Sparks and and George Antonopoulos | Hollywood yohana

 The snow hasn’t even started falling yet and the news of Danier’s new Canadian designer collaborations for Spring 2012 has us wishing for warmer temperatures. Philip Sparks will add his vintage-inspired aesthetic to an accessory line for men that will include backpacks and iPad cases in addition to classic carryalls (but who says us girls can’t get in on the action?) For women, following the success of the fall collaboration, OBJECT by George Antonopoulos will return for spring with a bright modern mod collection including colour blocking and pastels, as well as an expanded accessory selection. Both collections will be sure to sell out fast. We know where we’ll be headed when we’re looking to update our wardrobes this spring.

Online Store of the Week: ASOS Salon is back for a second season of the prettiest party dresses a couple hundred dollars can buy (or less, with our exclusive discount!) | Hollywood yohana

The shop: If you don’t know what ASOS is, please invite me to your Amish-Leninist compound some time? The Internet’s massive answer to H&M/Zara/Topshop has evolved from doing cheap knock-offs to doing less-cheap knock-offs, plus selling lots of real-deal designers and fresh contemporary brands in between. Now, one of the more recent additions to this UK e-tailer’s in-house ouevre—ASOS Salon—is back for a second season of the prettiest party dresses a couple hundred dollars can buy.
The goods: Clicking through the dozen-plus frocks on offer at ASOS Salon, a higher-end take on fancy-dress trends, two words come to mind: Carey Mulligan. From the Christopher Kane-a-like coruscating pastels to the Jil Sander-meets-Erdem florals to the Daisy Buchanan-y tea dress, the Salon is so her (red carpet) style. (The exception: a stiff silvery playsuit that feels like something Zooey Deschanel would wear to her barista’s wedding. I hate it.) This collection is one-note, but what a high, sweet note. Prices are more high than sweet, especially compared to regular ASOS, but better construction—albeit same discount viscose-type materials—and loads of texture give these pieces a worthwhile heft. NB: I went to see a few picks in person to make sure I wasn’t lying to you about this. I’m not.
The shipping: Last time I ordered from, the piece arrived promptly in five business days and no-frills packaging. Expect no different: the whole thing of mass retail is being predictably good enough. If you want it faster, pay $12 for express shipping and get it in two biz days maximum. Plus, free returns! Always.

The deal: Shop ASOS until midnight on May 24, 2012 and receive 15% off regular priced items by using our exclusive code FASHIONMAGCA.* Free standard shipping (within nine days), CAD$15 for express shipping (within four days).

Rooney Mara does Lisbeth Salander on the red carpet. We show you how to get her beauty look | Hollywood yohana

We’ve certainly seen actors embrace the characters they play while a film is in production, but Rooney Mara seems to be holding on to her Lisbeth Salander style long after David Fincher called “Cut!” on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. True, blunt-cut bangs take a long time to grow out, and Mara is wise to keep her hair black if she’s soon due on set for the sequel. But paired with that deep-purple lipstick and stark neutral eye—it’s seems Mara’s not ready to give up Salander’s gothic-grunge look.
Fortunately, Mara’s once-demure style shines through, making her aesthetic appear very modern and not at all like the gothic glamfest that other bright-eyed beauties (Evan Rachel Wood, we’re talking to you!) are fond of.

Nail Corner: An easy-to-do oval ombré outline manicure! | Hollywood yohana

 The best thing about an obsession with nail polish is that you barely have to wait for your manicure to dry before there’s a new trend to try. The second best thing is, of course, just how many other people are creating incredible nail art designs and sharing them—making the online world an amazing hub (or in some cases, a rabbit hole you can get lost for hours in) of inspiration. One of the latest designs to trend online is the “outline” or “framed” manicure: a single colour mani is given retro appeal by painting a a thin line of a darker polish around the edge of the entire nail. (Like a full circle version of the slim silhouette technique!) However, given that the dexterity required for such a design is quite advanced, I created a modified version that skips the need for a skinny brush. One makeup sponge and three shades of polish are all you need for this one—and best of all, you can do it in under an hour.

Nail Corner: A very literal take on Dior’s neon-bright eyeliner and lashes | Hollywood yohana

 After seeing Dior‘s spectacular Couture show earlier this week, one thing (aside from the collection, that is) stood out: the brightly hued lashes on each model. Created by makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath, hot pink, cobalt blue and lime green eyeliner was applied over silver shadow, with matching mascara to make the neon colours stand out even more. Basically, it was impossible not to turn back to Sally Singer’s eyeball manicure for Nail Corner inspiration. This design may have more of a cartoonish than couture feel, but it’s one way you can get away with neon eyelashes for everyday wear.

Michael Kors launches a new jealousy-inducing site to profile his employees style | Hollywood yohana

Michael Kors amped up its online presence with the launch of “Living the Kors Life,” which debuted on its freshly redesigned digital content site, Destination Kors. “Living the Kors Life” is a digital series that profiles the lives and styles of women who work for and wear Michael Kors. “I have always loved seeing the way so many chic women with very different lives and styles wear my designs,” Kors said. “When I thought about how now, as a global brand, we could communicate an understanding of the scope of women who are ‘very Michael Kors,’ I took one look around my office and said, ‘let’s start right here!’”

The project debuted yesterday, and profiled Mississippi-sorority-girl-turned-PR-coordinator Savannah. The video takes us on a tour of Savannah’s impressive Kors collection, as she pulls stunning piece after stunning piece from her overflowing closet. With a collection of envy-inducing heels, bags and furs, we’re thinking the Kors employee discount must be pretty good. Our thoughts were confirmed when we browsed through the “Get the Look” section of Savannah’s profile, which redirects to the Michael Kors online store. It would be nice to have a closet full of blazers and sandals that creep into the thousands of dollars mark. Just saying.