When Valentin Yudashkin came out to take a bow with his daughter Gala, it was one of the smoothest and most graceful family power-shares seen on the fashion stage.
In the case of the Russian designer, famous for his elegant extravaganzas, this was in no way a handover. It was a collaboration.
As the new Artistic Director appears at her father’s side, she brings with her a woman’s perspective and perhaps a practical vision of what to wear for more than a grand occasion. The collection, almost entirely black – just as last season it was primarily white – immediately set out to convince the audience that women work. A double-breasted jacket, worn with a short skirt, had two give-away accessories: boots made for walking and a smart bag hung criss-cross over the body.
Taking both the short and the long route, Yudashkin mixed short skirts with sporty zippered jackets or floor-sweeping coats. That ankle-length garment might also open to reveal a brief leather skirt. It was the sporty element of all the day clothes, often in leather, which underscored a 21st-century attitude to the modern woman’s wardrobe.
Clothes might still be showy, meaning either a metallic decorated surface or a display of flesh under a striped tailored coat. In ether case, the tailoring skills showed through, especially when stripes were used on the bias to create a chic, short dress.
There were ruffles, worked into the surface of a coat or a long evening skirt. But only seven outfits in the show could be described as grand. They were all elegant, using dense embroidery or feather-light tulle with the nonchalance of a designer who knows how to turn technique into glamour.
There were some legs on display, but they were either veiled through chiffon or emerging from a drape, suggesting that Yudashkin’s style now has a woman’s point of view.