"Gone With the Wind, the Headless Horseman, Huck Finn—it's our American collection," Ulyana Sergeenko said before her second Couture show today. Having explored her Russian roots at her debut in July, Sergeenko was eager to surprise. If nothing else, the U.S. contingent was amused by a soundtrack that ranged from The Wizard of Oz to Django Unchained to Rocky. There wasn't a bad tune in the lot, but their cumulative effect bordered on kitsch.

Sergeenko's clothes are unapologetically theatrical. Scarlett O'Hara's widow's weeds made an appearance, as did her famous green curtain dress. One model carried a bindle down the Théâtre Marigny runway, and another hitched a wooden slingshot into her belt. To some, the Russian is better suited to Hollywood back lots than to Paris haute couture. Certainly, outfits like a corseted velvet onesie and taffeta balloon cape, or a ball skirt worn with nothing but a pointy bra, seemed self-indulgent. The mistakes of a neophyte.

But not so fast. The buttons nipping up the back of gowns were porcelain, hand-painted with characters out of Russian nursery rhymes, and delicate crocheted embroideries were inset like cameos into sweet silk blouses. If Sergeenko can hone that sense of subtlety and nurture her wild devotion to detail, she just might make a designer out of herself yet.