Pin It
Tbilisi Fashion Week 2023 designers to know
Courtesy of God Era

The emerging oddball Georgian designers you need to know

Including God Era, Berhasm, and Reckless

Tbilisi’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is back, baby! After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the Georgian event returned this month, as editors, insiders, and influencers descended on the capital for a weekend of hot fashion, wild parties, and an excessive amount of local delicacy Khachapuri – a kind of glutinous bread boat filled with three types of melted cheese, butter, and egg that would surely strike fear in the hearts of the lactose intolerant out there.

Leaving behind the impressive gilded art galleries and Soviet-era hilltop circus venue it formerly took place in, this time around MBFW Tbilisi landed in its new forever home: a cavernous old Coca-Cola factory in a dusty industrial enclave of the city. There, the fashion crowd piling in and out of the venue mingled with burly, confused looking men who’d just come down to replace tyres or have their brakes checked, and instead found themselves slap bang in the middle of a street-side catwalk show. It was a wild and funny juxtaposition, which hammered home just how unique and offbeat Tbilisi’s OG fashion week has always been. 

That unique and offbeat approach also filtered onto the runway, of course, as some of the city’s most exciting designers made their fashion week comeback, and new names joined the line-up. From Aka Prodiashvili’s subversive dick-filled collection, to Reckless’s ode to teenagerhood, and God Era’s brilliant catwalk debut, here are the designers to know from the Georgian city.


God Era is the brainchild of Nino Goderidze, who started her label back in 2019 on graduating from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, and while you might not have realised it at the time, it’s likely you’ll have come across her designs while scouring the depths of Instagram in the small hours of the night. Known for her brilliantly weird creations, like corsets with fake rubber tits and chunky jewellery strewn with moulded latex appendages like babydoll arms and jelly ears, the subversive designer’s debut on the Georgian runway has been a long time coming. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t disappoint. 

On an oddball cast of friends and fellow creatives from across Tbilisi’s vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, Goderidze presented a wild mish-mash of of a collection that ran the gamut from well-cut tailoring crafted using traditional knitting methods, right through to 3D-printed tooth-inspired handbags (with the inner-workings of our mouths seemingly a sweet spot for the designer, whose loft studio features a Pepto Bismol hued dentists chair at its centre). 

Drawing inspiration from childhood days spent in the company of her granddad, fuzzy mushrooms sprouted from coat lapels, while big chunky scarves were crafted from old tights stuffed with nuts – like the kind she used to hang out for the birds in her garden to eat. It wasn’t all as wholesome as that, though. Teeny, tiny minis with paper tear-off hems came emblazoned with passionate snoggers, bra tops were barely big enough to cover nips, and seemingly, Goderidze is a Dazed fan, with a standout t-shirt dress bearing a horsey ‘Ketamine Chic’ print after our 2022 trend investigation.


A portmanteau uniting ‘Berghain’ and ‘orgasm’, Beso Turo’s label Berhasm unsurprisingly has its roots in raving. Originally a bunch of parties based between Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine, the label evolved to become a line of oversized hoodies, t-shirts, and merch, before later becoming a fully fledged fashion brand of its own. 

As ever this season, Turo and co. stayed true to their original ethos, championing a message of love and tolerance. A burnt-out car stood at the centre of the runway, its charred remains spilling fragrant piles of wildflowers onto the floor around it. It was a metaphor for the light that comes after the darkness, touching on the unrest currently rocking the countries Berhasm got its start in. 

When it came to the collection, the designer stuck to what he does best: wipe-clean hi-shine vinyl was fashioned into second-skin wiggle dresses and matched with severe, bicep-length gloves, broad-shouldered vegan leather coats, skimpy cut-out vests and tees, and thigh-high stiletto boots rendered in pale, sandblasted denim. Finishing touches came via retrofuturistic wraparound sunglasses and a standout handbag strung with a heavy-metal symbol of Georgian freedom.


Reckless’s new-season runway moment opened with a recognisable snippet from Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides, as Cecilia Lisbon responds to her doctor “Clearly, you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl,” when he questions why she attempted to end her life. The resulting collection was a youthful exploration of the agonies and ecstasy of coming of age, manifested in oversized clothing that looked like it had been passed down from an older sibling, schoolgirl-style tartan kilts, and all manner of sweatpants and XXL hoodies. 

Preppy and punky in equal measure, a swathe of styles were emblazoned with fraught teenage emotion. A striped rugby top read ‘My Heart Hurts’ while too-big tees and trackies were printed with ‘I Love Hentai’ in reference to blossoming sexuality. At the more hopeful end of the scale, pieces were emblazoned with ‘I recognise the divinity within me’. Overseen by three young designers barely out of their teens themselves, Reckless isn’t just intent on dressing a new gen of kids from Georgia and beyond, but also making them feel like they’re not alone.


Though way more wearable than past collections have been – with not a ballgown in sight – OG queer provocateur Aka Prodiashvili’s message was as loud and clear as ever, as the designer continued to rail against Georgia’s archaic conservatism and the homophobia that’s rife in the country. 

Taking over a grand dancehall on Rustaveli Avenue, Prodiashvili’s cast of outsiders – like drag artist Lucrezia and Flora Kamikadze, local legend Madlena, and longtime muse Matt Shally – sauntered up and down a makeshift scaffolded structure under a huge glittering chandelier in shirts plastered with skewered penises and sloppy sweatshirts that exclaimed ‘The Pain Always Ends’. Tinselly bodies were layered over fishnet tights, while chunky, 80s-style belts became pageant-y sashes, and glittering, crystallised capes and minis had fans Arca and Lady Gaga’s names all over them. 

With Tbilisi’s drag ball given an official slot on the MBFW schedule this season, and Prodiashvili’s show a well-attended highlight of the weekend, the city’s queer community may still face adversity, but are slowly but surely moving out of the shadows they once had to stick to just a few short years ago.