After four years of pandemic-induced absence, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi picked up where it left off last week, staging its first event since November 2019.
After stints in what used to be an old circus and a scattering of museums and galleries, founder Sofia Tchkonia settled into her new permanent home – an old Coca-Cola factory located in the middle of an industrial estate in the heart of the city. And though its schedule was more slimmed down than previous seasons, there was still loads to see on the catwalk: from God Era’s Dazed-inspired ‘Ketamine Chic’ tees and Aka Prodiashvili’s queer couture, to Berhasm’s Berghain-appropriate clubwear and Irakli Rusadze’s sensual, standout Situationist menswear.
Outside, in the sprawling concrete courtyard, these brands filtered down onto Tbilisi’s creative crowd, who largely repped rising Georgian brands, mixing them in with fashion finds dug up in vintage and thrift stores or along the sides of the Dry Bridge flea market and the odd big-name label. Oversized tailoring and wide-legged XXL jawns were everywhere, and so were tartan kilts – coquettish and kicky and worn with white knee-socks on one end of the scale, and layered over denim trousers and matched with trashed band tees on the other.
MBFW Tbilisi is charmingly chaotic, with a real scrappy DIY spirit and sense of community that sets it apart from others across the world – you’ll spot a model walking the runway one second and the next they’ll be sprinting off to debut their own collection. Same goes for the street style on show. It’s a little messy, a lot all over the place, and wildly imaginative and fresh – just like the city itself.
Click through the gallery above to take a look at local photographer Guram Kapanadze’s photos of MBFW Tbilisi’s best-dressed crowd.