Matériel by Tiko Paksashvili was a fitting opener for the second day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi—a tabula rasa for the runway with a string of clean and minimalist pieces. There were boxy shirts and linear, knee-skimming vests made from raincoat fabric, patchworked in white and blood orange hues, with oversize flap pockets. Robe dresses were nice, too, with delicate top-stitch pleats gathered at the waist and large kimono sleeves. The simple staples will be easy to wear and not the least bit boring.
Next up was Nino Babukhadia, who gave cocktailwear a touch of quirk with embellishments and asymmetric cuts. Billowing robe jackets flared out when fastened at the waist with a black leather men’s belt, while structured silk shirts had abstract illustrations made from a bricolage of colorful beading. Babukhadia’s jumpsuits were particularly great in shades of cream or lavender, sliced and diced at the shoulder blades, and complete with oversize pockets and swishy pant pleats.
Flow the Label’s sister designers, Viktoriia Balaniuk and Véronika Vèz, hail from another Eastern European country: Ukraine. The duo makes denim fresh, whether it’s in the form of a light skirt ruched at the waist with fat buttons dotting the center or a natty collared shirt with a navy bib. Their non-denim pieces looked good, too: A fire engine red shoulder-less top had thick flyaway strips of fabric streaming from the back, while a cheeky Slavic-style rooster print covered a hip bone–slit silk slip dress. Still, necks craned at Flow the Label’s riff on the Canadian tuxedo: A matching denim jacket and wide-leg cropped trousers were both cleanly patchworked in periwinkle and sky blue. The denim-on-denim pieces were the type that would fly off the racks stateside, but according to Balaniuk, that time is yet to come: Flow the Label wants to find its footing in its motherland—but that shouldn’t take it long.
The day’s last show was Atelier Kikala by Lado Bokuchava. Promoted by local retailers and worn by the country’s It girls, Bokuchava is a bit of a homegrown hero for Tbilisi. All of that support comes in handy, too—Iggy Azalea wore a gold Atelier Kikala jacket just a few weeks ago. As for today, Bokuchava’s collection further solidified Atelier Kikala’s place in international closets. The robe dresses were stellar, especially one sexy number layered in black and royal blue silk, lazily fastened in an alluring, slept-in way to reveal naval-diving décolletage. Another robe dress could have easily been worn as black-tie attire, heel-touching in thick, glittery blue bands and strips of sheer black organza. Bokuchava also worked with Japanese denim, rendering the material into low-slung trousers and carpenter jackets, which were painted over in a black-and-white floral print. An oversize pixelated knit bomber jacket was a standout. Don’t be surprised when a street style photographer snaps the piece on the shoulders of a high-flying Tbilisi It girlduring Paris Fashion Week next season.