Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi is one of the most exciting events of the season, introducing us to young talent and providing a fantastic opportunity for new creatives. This year, due to the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, all the collections were showcased digitally in the Art & Culture, Education Center in Tbilisi.
Fifteen designers were able to present their latest bodies of work to the public and connect with the fashion world online. This initiative may be more important now than ever; with a challenging year for creatives behind us, 2021 presents opportunity — something on full display during this season’s MBFWT.
After all, MBFWT is more than just a demonstration — it gives local designers from Georgia a platform to promote their ideas and create a path in the industry. Since the week’s inception, the event has managed to gain worldwide attention and excitement from big names in the fashion world and beyond, drawing in artists, photographers, journalists and more to collaborate and share ideas. Here are some of our selections from this season.
Beginning our coverage is RECKLESS. RECKLESS is a project created by three 19-year-old designers — Anka Koiava, Liza Kajrishvili and Masu Mtsariashvili. Their slightly different creative backgrounds created a very interesting range for the brand. At its core, however, are several main values: individuality, freedom and support for the youth around the world. The FW21 collection examined the effects of the Soviet criminal culture in post-Soviet countries, with the designers wishing to reclaim the freedom and identity deprived of the young generation. The collection was full of dark greens and vintage-looking vests and cardigans. The mix of streetwear and preppy fashion resulted in very on-trend designs both cool and wholly unique. We can’t wait for future collections from RECKLESS.
Irakli Rusadze, founder of Georgian fashion brand SITUATIONIST, is strongly inspired by the wild nature of Georgia and its mountainous regions. Hence, the FW21 collection hosts dark, earth tones alongside very structural and textured designs. Shiny leather elements revealed the core of the ideas that motivated the clothes, with the raw character of the collection bringing pieces of Georgian nature and atmosphere into the collection. During this show, SITUATIONIST also presented hand-knitted shoes and accessories for the first time.
An AW21-22 collection showcased by BLIKVANGER focuses on three main designs: beautiful, long and oversized coats and suits, shiny metallic dresses in fearless colours and the knockout of the season — knitwear. As we’ve observed in previous seasons, brand designer Ana Odishelidze creates bold and confident clothing with a wearable sense of power. These looks were presented on a dark backdrop, with a blood-red moon and storm visuals giving the show an almost retro, sci-fi spirit. Unusual shapes and layers definitely held centre stage, but the knitted pieces became the most memorable part of the collection.
Next up, our attention was drawn to a female-founded brand that proudly highlights the female body as it empowers it — MACH & MACH. The label is no newcomer; its modern and unique pieces have already caught the eyes of celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Solange. This season was definitely very diverse when it came to style and references, featuring looks ranging from slick, elegant evening dresses to colourful, 2000s-inspired looks. Most of the clothes were tight-fitted and laid beautifully on the models, making them look confident and playful. The AW2021 collection was inspired by the power of beauty, desiring to prove that the pandemic didn’t kill the party spirit of shine and glamour.
TEYÓ is a label founded by Georgian designer Teona Gardapkhadze. For the label’s AW2021 collection, inspiration came from brutalist architecture and mixing its often harsh forms with feminine styles. The designs yet again feature this season’s very popular monochrome: earth tones. With vintage motifs and masculine looks, the designer managed to perfectly catch inspiration from present trends while making them personal and original. A clear presence of wool and silk played very well with the brutalist idea of the collection, and knitted accessories brought more warmth to the outfits.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi holds its important place in the fashion world and always surprises with new talents. We will keep an eye on featured designers, and await the seasons to come!
words. Olivia Dworakowska