It might be that Valentin Yudashkin
settled on a nineties-rock theme for Fall because it required more edge than he conveyed in his last season. And it's true that the Russian designer's near-total use of black and ivory helped to achieve a look that felt more in step with what the cool kids are doing. As usual, he showed a few strong outerwear options, including a double-face gray fox-fur coat and a liquid-slick polyamide parka in gunmetal. The surprise was underneath: sweatshirts and jeans. Granted, these pieces were either embroidered or embellished with a black rose pattern that recurred further on, once Yudashkin reverted back to his laudably ornamented evening dresses. All that beading and appliqué—this time with streaks of latex—does not happen without days of meticulous handwork. But most rock stars record in a studio where a producer and team modulate their work; designers, by comparison, often compose without the equivalent editing. And in Yudashkin's case, things can get visibly loud pretty fast. With the final succession of gowns, the issue was less the decoration itself—although black branches across the décolletage seemed more sinister than sexy—than the denial of moderation. Yet Yudashkin is capable of toning himself down, even with his eveningwear; a slinky long skirt and velvet bomber worn atop a sheer georgette layer confirmed as much. It had the classical beauty of a piano solo. It resonated.