I apologize for this headline. While its clickbait accuracy is wow (just wait and see), I get the call for extra sensitivity in addressing nations not at peace … Fashion knows extra. And peace is maintained through cultural diplomacy to which fashion is a major contributor. Thus, meet three legit-lit Georgian designers who rocked Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia in Moscow with their spring-summer 2019 collections: Aka Nanita, Alkhanashvili and Goga Nikabadze.
Quick wiki-aside: in 2006, Moscow suspended all traffic and trade deals with Georgia over detention of four Russians accused of espionage and sabotage. (Some headlines just do not age!) Two years later, Russia invaded Georgia. “There was little NATO appetite for war.” Thus, the conflict ended as absurdly as it began in a ceasefire which saw Georgia loose an entire region of its territory and set the stage for Russian geopolitical meddling. This too has passed and since the travel ban was lifted in 2014, Russian tourists quickly became the country’s largest guest cohort. A tumultuous decade later, Georgia’s tourism development is outpacing Crimea, its historical Black Sea resort rival annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Karma is a fashionista…
I mention this so y’all can see fashion beyond clothes. These Georgian (by heritage or residency) designers are cultural ambassadors and AbFab peacemakers.
Fifty shades of pomegranate! I had noted Aka Nanita‘s determination “to thrive in a capricious market that expects funky jeans and exquisite gowns” from the same designer. She has perfected delivery of both. The dresses are at their loveliest and the denim game has vastly improved! I’m willing to overlook all that leopard print as a coin-making compromise with the notoriously kitschy Russian stylescape. Follow up!
Goga Nikabadze‘s idea of casual style is rooted in utmost bohemian ethos of anguished painters, exiled literati, heirs to fortunes, and the requisite entourage, whiling away a lifelong weekend in-between bouts of obsessive creativity. Put these on, and you just might discover a few grand ideas within you, ripe for harvesting. My #Wishlist!
Georgian menswear canon errs on the side of conservative with a dash of Adidas. So I am particularly thrilled to champion Luiza Alkhanashvili who is asserting an alternative vision of masculinity. Sure, it’s monochrome and brooding, but softer gender lines and offbeat tailoring make it an urban sight to behold. And I need that add-on-skirt. NEED!
For more Georgian fashion, stay tuned for my coverage of the upcoming Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi in November 1-5, 2018.