The world is changing; fashion is no more concentrated around Paris, Milan and New York. Today the world knows designers from China, Africa, Australia, and recently Georgia. For the ones interested in fashion there’s no way this place can remain unknown: the industry experts are betting on it here, there and everywhere. Today let’s take a closer look at the talents emerging in Tbilisi.
Situated between Europe, the Middle East and Russia, Georgia is a newcomer of the fashion scene. The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was only introduced to the country one year ago by Sofia Tchkonia, and essentially is currently far from what we have here in Milan. However, in spite of being out of the industry’s centre, Georgian fashion has high potential, which can be proved by Demna Gvasalia at Vetements and Balenciaga and David Koma at Mugler.
Still, being totally worthy of all the coverage they get, these two are the only ones we all know. Soon this might change: judging by the interest towards the Fashion Week’16, the breakthrough of the first ones much likely will be followed by more Georgians in the limelight. The country is definitely worth keeping an eye on, at least some of the designers, five of whom I’m going to introduce.
1. Atelier Kikala
Lado Bokuchava, the creative director of Marni-like Atelier Kikala, definitely deserves attention. Known for faux leather, handmade perforation and knitwear, the brand has already been recognized by Iggy Azalea, Sky Ferreira and Miroslava Duma. Although inspired by the pop icons and films of the 80s-90s, the recent collection is contemporary and absolutely wearable.
2. Alexander Arutyunov
Personally, I don’t consider this collection his best work. However, that is the only reason that today he is not the first of the Top 5: in general I highly appreciate Arutyunov, and there is no doubt this gaining ground designer is worth a glance. Having a street-style appeal, the brand is far from minimalistic, which this season is embodied in frills, embroidery and “net” tights. The roots of the collection are to be found in the old Armenian manuscripts.
3. Datuna Sulikashvili
Worn by Sharon Stone and the First Lady of Georgia, Datuna Sulikashvili is elegant but seductive, feminine but stern. The colors chosen make it hard to lose the battle: black and gold make everything work (at least almost everything). Still, the elements of the collection are not an acceptable easy solution, rather a good example of quality eveningswear.
4. Tamuna Ingorokva
Unlike some others, this name is already established on the Georgian scene. While many brands from emerging fashion markets put too much effort into showing national identity, this one is all about minimalism and elegance, which might ensure approach to wider audience. The particular collection has its origin in Richard Serra’s Ramble Drawings; the leather garments are mostly worth close attention.
Known for its knits, especially thick-knitted multicolor cardigans, this super young (founded in 2013) brand came up with Chanel-ish tweeds. The inspiration – essentially – came from the 60s, that style reinterpreted and fitted for today with the color combinations and footwear. While some looks to me are doubtful, others actually look good.
As follows from some examples including these, we should all hope that Georgian fashion sees further development. For that we can rely on Tchkonia: besides promoting the locally-renowned designers at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, she runs the creative agency Société Anonyme that financially backs up the young designers contest Next in Kobuleti. Today the latter attracts spectators such as journalists from Vogue, IED and LCF professors, bloggers and designers including Gosha Rubchinskiy. Seems like the future of Georgian fashion is more bright and promising than ever.