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Prominent Georgian designer Gvantsa Janashia looks both to the past and the future to create the Fall/Winter 2018 collection for her brand, Janashia. Delicate disco-inspired fringing combined with architectural tailoring and futuristic silhouettes; expect the unexpected with Janashia. We sit down with the designer herself to discuss her life, her brand, and her inspiration for this bewitching collection.
So Gvantsa, could you tell us a little about yourself and how Janashia began?
My brand has actually only existed for six or seven seasons (three years). First, I opened a multi-brand store to help designers realize themselves in the fashion industry. I know that this has been a very important platform for them, especially because of the developing fashion industry in our country. After that, I realized that I wanted to start my own brand to express my feelings and myself, and each season I’m finding more of my own style.
You left Georgia to study in Paris at the young age of eighteen. Has Paris had a cultural and stylistic influence in your work, or was it purely an instrument for learning the skills that you brought back to your home country?
When I went, it was purely as an instrument to learn, but immediately, I deeply understood what Paris meant to fashion. Naturally, the culture and the style influenced me a lot – and it can be seen in my collections.
Do you feel that there is more of a community amongst Georgian designers and fashion houses in comparison to western European countries that may have a more competitive or hostile fashion scene?
This question is quite difficult for me because I’ve never really considered it. I think fashion has no country. Georgia has really strong and competitive designers because we have a fast emerging industry, but we are more cooperative possibly due to our culture.

There are a lot of exciting designers from Georgia coming onto our radar at the moment, and Mercedez-Benz Fashion week in Tbilisi has a growing international audience. Do you think this surge of creativity is down to the transformation and rebirth of Georgia after the country’s turbulent past?
After almost a century of the closed Soviet system, we gained our freedom and independence, but we had a difficult transformation in the early years. It’s only in recent decades that we have started to get what we really deserve and we are for sure seeing an explosion of creativity.
Could you give us three names of the next exciting fashion designers?
There are few designers I really like: Nicolas Gregorian, George Keburia and Materiel. 
The Janashia Fall/Winter 2018 collection was inspired by iconic Studio 54, what was it that drew you to it as a source of creativity?
Studio 54 reflects another explosion of freedom and expression, and all of my favourite iconic celebrities were involved: Bianca and Mick Jagger, Lauren Hutton, Andy Warhol, etc. It’s something that I found very exciting and inspiring, which is why I chose it, and signature pieces can be found in the collection.

Which look or piece from the collection is your personal favourite and why?
Actually, I have several favourites! But if I had to choose it would be the violet look with two collars. I found it interesting and sexy to mix cotton and organza. I love the colour and the mixing of these two fabrics and also the flat patterns/cuts of the shirt and skirt.
In your collection, you mix a lot of light and heavy materials together. From ethereal sheers and delicate metal chains to thick and woven fabrics. Is texture also a big inspiration to you?
Yes. It’s a bit risky but it’s really one of the challenging parts of creating a collection.
The silhouettes are daring and exciting, a favourite of mine being the open-front bellybutton peephole. Do you try and push the wearability of your garments to create cutting-edge designs?
It’s not the first time someone has mentioned that my clothes are daring, but it doesn’t scare me! When I create my collections, I love mixing colours, fabrics and styles fearlessly. But I’m not trying to push the wearability; everything I do and create is for customers and should be wearable for people as well.
How would you describe Janashia’s woman?
A daring woman who knows her own identity. Her personality is serious, strong and at the same time very sexy.

I see that you collaborated with contemporary jewellery brand Yoster for this collection, is it important to you to work with other creatives across the world?
Sure, it is important. Yoster is a very creative brand, I'm really honoured to collaborate with them and I hope that it will be long term. We both think that my collection and her jewellery is a perfect match, such as the exclusive oversized jewellery pieces for Janashia Fall/Winter 2018 collection.
The Fall/Winter 2018 collection can be described as retro-futurism. Do you often look to the past to create the future, and will we get to see more of this?
Yes. I'm really obsessed with ‘60s retro-futurism, but I try to add my own personal touch in every collection. I’m always trying to find new inspirations from early eras in movies, icons, nature, architecture, etc. I really like to mix lots of different eras in one collection as it makes my collections pretty eclectic.
You have been incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial, and founded your own labels, pioneering concept store Flabour, and export your brand in various cities – will you be taking over the fashion world soon?
What a question? It would be nice, maybe one day!

Peach Doble
Gvantsa Janashia

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