Clara Brannigan discusses how Tbilisi is firmly becoming a fashionista haven.
Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, may not be the first place we think of when it comes to high fashion, but this is rapidly changing. Attention has honed in on the capital for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) this autumn. Demna Gvasalia breathed life into the Georgian fashion industry when he co-founded his vetements fashion collection in 2012, turning the media’s attention to Tbilisi. Gvasalia is the current creative director of Balenciago, shining brightly over the Georgian fashion industry. He rebranded Eastern bloc fashion as cool and fresh, capturing the hearts of fashion’s avant-garde elites.
“The city was packed with street style photographers, capturing the statement pieces worn by Tbilisi citizens”
Gvasalia has proved he isn’t the only fashion talent from the area, with new designers coming forward to make a name for themselves. This autumn showcased the Spring 2018 collection and nearly 50 brands were featured. A womenswear label by Tamara Kopalianis kicked off the fashion week. The brand takes inspiration from a colorful ceremonial mosaic located on a wall in the early soviet era institution. Damian Gola, a new designer to the scene showcased a retro range for men and women, making a statement by dressing the male models in leather skirts paired with disco ball purses. This is believed to be a stab at Georgia’s lack of acceptance of LGBT+ rights.
This year drew interest from international editors, buyers’ influencers and fashion lovers. The city was packed with street style photographers, capturing statement pieces worn by Tbilisi citizens. Georgia’s Fashion Week looks set to become more credible than other MBFW’s in Russia and Ukraine, credited to their experimental designers. The founder of the MBFW Sofia Tchkonia is confident that Georgia could be “the next fashion capital of this part of the world,” she told website Observer.
“The fashion world will have their eyes peeled as Tbilisi is the new capital to watch.”
Irakli Rusadze’s label “Situationist,” gained significantly more attention this year. Last year on his Spring 2017 show, a Georgian flag print on a corset piece caught the eye of many attendees and social media followers. Bella Hadid has shown her seal of approval, after being spotted wearing a leather coat from the collection four times so far.
This is only the beginning for Georgia’s fashion industry and its talented circle of designers. The fashion world will have their eyes peeled as Tbilisi is the new capital to watch. Since Georgia has broken free of the Soviet Union, it has begun to reinvent and express itself through fashion. Georgia now makes headlines for a different reason: its fashion industry.