#SuzyPFW: Never Underestimate the Power of Snow

All the colours are special, the beige, white, rose or silver,” said Valentin Yudashkin backstage after a show that took every shade of the big freeze and used ice and snow as the designer’s palette.

From a broad-shoulder jacket with a pair of white thigh-high boots, through a cloud-grey jacket with lapels rich in pearls to the finale of a white tulle wedding gown, the Russian designer knows how to use gradations of white to turn a basic shade into a subtle colour.

Drifts of snow have fallen on Europe this winter, with the soft, white powder even reaching south to Rome. The attitude of countries where winter is normally temperate is always the same: joy at the first fall, especially for children, followed by irritation and even rage that travel has been snarled up by nature.

Snow as a familiar and ever-repeating part of winter is another story – one that is imprinted in memories, and part of Russia’s history.

So Yudashkin picked one of the Paris grand hotels, with its fancy carpeted floor and arching gilded windows, and made that venue a backdrop to his icy collection. With an eye to a winter vision that must have been familiar, the designer turned the banal into a wonderland. Crystals twinkled on a bodice like light reflected in ice; while the calm, pale grey light of a dying winter day was used for a streamlined short dress with throw-over shawl.

The fluff of feathers at the shoulders or the drift of silk chiffon on a cocktail dress proved that snow has more artistic qualities than immediately meet the eye.