A venue already familiar to us, Factory Tbilisi, where we experienced Culture Week a couple of months ago, hosted the seventeenth edition of the most important fashion week in the country, this being the first edition after the pandemic. The opinion is unanimous; the designers, the public, the press, and the organisers themselves, with Sofia Tchkonia at the helm, could not wait to restart this machinery that is an incalculable boost for the creative industry of a country that has a lot to tell. For 5 days, not only in Factory but also in different locations around Tbilisi, we had the pleasure of enjoying fashion shows, talks, traditional and delicious Georgian food, and the vibrant nightlife of a city that is increasingly positioning itself as one of the great capitals of culture.
The fashion proposals were broad and for all tastes, from the most traditional to the most subversive. In this fashion week, there was something for everyone. Berhasm was one of the first brands to present and did so with its collection It Is Not My Dream, one that from the start establishes a post-apocalyptic tinge thanks to the destroyed car overtaken by plants located in the middle of the catwalk. The collection is dominated by black and leather textures, seen in sleek and sharp silhouettes where hints of colour are found in interesting looks such as the degrade dress paired with a black jacket and trouser suit.
George Keburia, one of the most established Georgian brands with clients including Lorde, Kaia Gerber or Gigi and Bella Hadid, has moved its show to the impressive Pullman Tbilisi Axis Towers in a room where the darkness interrupted by striking coloured lasers sets the mood for a retro-futuristic collection, with classic silhouettes mixed with more extravagant ones such as the XXL padded scarf or the knitwear with trompe l'oeil patterns that imitated a bra superimposed on the garment. The brand's signature garments, such as dresses with fur-trimmed bottoms and solid colour combinations delimited by black outlines, were also present.
Along with Keburia, Situationist is another of those firms that are leaving the name of Georgia high on the international scene. With a collection presented entirely with male models but with fluid silhouettes that can be worn by anyone, Irakli Rusadze has taken over the traditional and iconic Georgian saunas to present his skills in constructing outerwear, trench coats, coats, skirts, and trousers, as well as his good use of colour and materials to extract the maximum appeal from silhouettes where pronounced shoulders and marked waists are the protagonists.
Akà Prodiàshvili and Reckless have brought the best of the underground and alternative scene to the Georgian catwalks. The former with a show in the Mono Hall concert venue that resembled a musical event or a party more than a fashion show and with bright, daring garments and silhouettes that exude not only sensuality but also sexuality in a staging with an undeniable queer and drag energy that reminds us of the night before when we witnessed a Ball in Factory. And on the other hand, Reckless, a completely youthful and transgressive brand that reflects the revolutionary vibes of Georgian youth, in which they flee from categories when dressing, personal style is celebrated, and street style reflects those unique and fun vibes of the Gen-z, where they proudly wear t-shirts and trousers that announce I <3 Hentai.
With a strong bond that does not need to be described to be felt in the atmosphere and in the streets, but which has already been reaffirmed and demonstrated with the aforementioned Culture Week, Georgia continues to show its support and hospitality to the Ukrainian people, and through fashion, it can also generate messages of union. With fashion shows by several Ukrainian designers, such as Jean Gritsfeldt and Sayya, as well as a showroom in the concept store Ne Klassika dedicated entirely to promoting Ukrainian brands that keep producing and creating in Ukraine, the importance of events like this is elevated to a social level and gives Tbilisi Fashion Week a whole new and transcendental meaning and an impact that most fashion weeks lack.