Tbilisi Fashion Week AW19: The Designers
Over the last few seasons there has been a dynamic buzz around the smaller, more niche fashion weeks, such as Seoul, Copenhagen and especially Tbilisi. Ever since we were first introduced to Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia and his design collective Vetements, this Georgian capital has been on our radar. Now showing for the fourth year, this new fashion week has firmly made its mark on the scene as the hub of emerging, creative talent.
Like Demna, many of the young designers draw inspiration from their Soviet upbringing that saw a lack of materials and labour leading to alternative ways of creating fashion. With a history rooted in rebellion, these Eastern Bloc designers bridge the gap between eastern and western aesthetics with a mix of experimental streetwear and innovative tailoring.
"The scene in Georgia is very forward-thinking across every creative industry, from music and art to fashion. All these different elements inspire each other and the result is a warm creative energy that I have not found anywhere else for a long time." – junior womenswear buyer, Costanza Lombardi.
To celebrate the start of Tbilisi Fashion Week AW19, let us introduce you to the trailblazing designers that have come out of this talented city, all here at Browns.
First established in 1949, Fashion House Materia is one of the oldest fashion retailers in Georgia. Having survived the Soviet rule, it has now created the premium line MATÉRIEL which gives young, emerging designers the chance to showcase their talent under a fashion collective. Currently headed up by Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili and Lado Bokuchava, who both have their own labels, MATÉRIEL uses their iconic history and infrastructure to produce a new generation of creativity. With a selection of utilitarian style, fluid trench coats, jackets and trousers in a mix of soft and bold colours, MATÉRIEL’s aesthetic radiates female empowerment.
Discover MATÉRIEL’s exclusive capsule collection for Browns here.
Because having Aleksandre’s MATÉRIEL designs simply wasn’t enough for us, we also welcomed his namesake label to Browns last season with his first collection. His style takes a minimalistic approach that blends masculine and feminine qualities. Experimenting with form and classic tailoring, Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili’s pieces use a mix of bright colours and sumptuous, handmade textures.
Founded by Irakli Rusadze and Davit Giorgadze back in 2015, Situationist uses new era feminism as its main source of inspiration and the idea that ‘Mother Georgia’ is symbolic of strong women who held families together under Soviet rule. Favouring darker shades and structured fits, Situationist’s style has a uniform appeal that pays homage to restrictions of 90s Georgia whilst retaining its independent identity.
George Keburia first came to our attention with his highly sought-after mini sunglasses seen on the likes of Bella Hadid. After welcoming his accessories to Browns last season, we introduced the self-taught designer’s ready to wear for SS19. Starting his label in 2010, he then went on to work at Fashion House Materia for two years before returning focus back to his own brand. With a playful, surrealist aesthetic, George’s designs continue the Georgian ‘masculine meets feminine’ theme with his structured tailoring. Using softer finishes and exaggerated forms, his silhouettes have a fun, youthful appeal.
Headed up by designer Natuka Karkashadze, N Duo was founded in 2014 and produces unique feminine pieces with a dramatic edge. The in-house brand of Tbilisi-based boutique N-Duo-Concept, the designs are created for the woman with experimental style that likes to mix colours and textures in her daily wardrobe. Previously collaborating with influencer Anum Bashir (@desertmannequin), this forward-thinking brand is set for big things.