Anyone who heard that I was going to Fashion Week in Tbilisi raised an eyebrow and asked, “What? Is there a fashion week in Georgia? “The answer is yes.
In the past three years, Georgia has been one of the most intriguing cities in the world, and not only for tourists who love hiking but also for the fashion industry. After all, Balenciaga’s creative director and his team are all from here, and let’s not forget his super trendy brand Vetements that is considered the most sought after brand in the world. Georgia is known as a country of spectacular views, unparalleled local hospitality, and a rich cuisine of local delicacies that can not be found anywhere else in the world. And of course the financial factor, Tbilisi is considered one of the cheapest cities for tourists, especially for us Israelis who love a good deal. The colourful culture of the country adds so much wealth to the local fashion, with their knowledge of sewing, knitting and handicrafts, the designers’ collections here certainly fit into the magnificent landscape.
This is my fourth time at Tbilisi Fashion Week, and everything gets better each time. The young designers meet world standards and present their winter collections to the best buyers, journalists, and bloggers who come from around the world to see what’s new here. And just like us Tel Avivians , the Georgian fashion events do not pass here without snacking between shows and presentations. The food simply won’t stop coming to the table. A selection of local cheeses, fresh and organic vegetables and their famous local wines are simply a divine combination.
A striking fact about the local fashion industry is that it’s dominated by women. The organizers of the event are four impressive women, and 99% of the shows shown here are by local female designers. This season some designers caught my attention, Sayya The Ukrainian designer Luba Makarenko presented a colourful collection inspired by the 80’s, with breathtaking jackets in a variety of colours, geographically printed dresses and knitwear to make the winter colder and less gloomy (the zombie suit I wore is hers-see first pic).
Ani Datakoshvili is a young designer with a distinguished aesthetic, her collection starring in the pages of Vogue and other major magazines. The collection combines a distinctly local style that is black clothes in oversize cuts but also a selection of especially feminine items.
Another fashion designer I got my eye on was Moscow based Miro who presented a collection close to my heart with long floral dresses and suits tailored from men’s suits, a wearable and feminine collection with a variety of items to suit our climate, sold! The designer Elenny went on various geometric prints inspired by the 90’s and presented a varied, custom-made collection that combined elements of nature. Jewelry designers Ethery Accessories and Atelier Marta presented stunning jewelry, both of which represented magical gardens, events that will be remembered by many guests because of the magic in the air.
Tbilisi’s Fashionistas are very recognizable with casual and oversize styles and although the country is identified with prints and fabrics most of the girls here are actually dressed in monochromatic or black colours. In Georgia, there is no admiration for designer clothes and trends and in general, for shopping, they have a distinct style of their own and most prefer to buy useful items from local designers than to spend all their salary on the fashionable item of a well-known fashion house. The women, as I have mentioned, appear to be strong young mothers, so that the priorities do not include unnecessary spending. This season you could see back to the 80’s with shoulder pads, with wide cuts of pants and dresses. Their practical wardrobe also includes a lot of flat shoes; Tbilisi is a city located between mountains and high hills so it is difficult or even impossible to wear heels. If there is something I learned from the local girls, it is to show confidence even without trendy and overpriced clothes.
Location Tbilisi Fashion Week Fall Winter 2018, Museum Hotel
Words by Roza Sinaysky @moodyroza
Photos: by Liya Geldman