Right now in the Georgian city of Tbilisi, a cultural revolution is happening. A new generation of creative youth are rising up to challenge the country’s conservatism and government oppression through art, music, and fashion.
At the heart of this is Akà Prodiàshvili, a designer whose wildly conceptual, campy collections of oversized tailoring, glittering dresses, and garish prints skew the line between genders, and celebrate Tbilisi’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Though things have improved in recent years, homophobia is often felt on the streets of his hometown – by responding to this with creativity, Prodiàshvili hopes to increase visibility and push attitudes forward.
Drawing inspiration from the city’s club kids and its thriving nightlife scene, iconic drag queens including Violet Chachki and Sasha Velour, and cult sci-fi movies including The Matrix, last year, Prodiàshvili found himself a pretty high-profile fan in the form of Arca, who slid into his DMs after seeing his work on Instagram, and has since enlisted him to create a series of looks for performances around the world.
Who’s next? “I’d love to collaborate with Björk,” the designer confirms. Fingers crossed.
Emma Elizabeth Davidson