Tako Mekvabidze is redefining what it means to be a born-and-bred Georgian designer. This season, unlike the previous year, Mekabidze decided to organize her 2020 cruise show in a place other than her usual Tbilisi Mercedes Benz Fashion Week stomping grounds. Those of you who were previously unaware of Georgian design now know who to thank for signature cool-girl leather trenches, outwear, and celebrity-adorned teeny-tiny sunglasses.
Fresh off the plane in Batumi, Georgia—three Khachapuri’s (a traditional Georgian cheese-filled bread) deep—I arrived on location where Mekabidze presented her most recent collection, one that’s inspired by the coastal city where she grew up. Home can serve as an endless well of inspiration, and Mekvabidze proved this ceaselessly with references throughout the show. Expectations were high, as the Kendall Jenner–approved brand got ready to unveil its latest line. Set along the Black Sea, as the evening twilight set in, white ancient pillars stood tall next to the sand-filled runway, the lights dimmed, and the show began.
The designer took us on a journey all the way back to her ’90s Georgian hometown, set on the Boulevard of Batumi; white pillars, seashells, sand and childhood memories filled up the venue. Nostalgia permeated the runway as models walked down wearing exquisitely feminine silhouettes made using a range of shades merged with inspiration from the sea and nature from her city.
Garments from ruffled skirts and matching tops to straw hats, net bags, and seafoam pearl sequins in shades of baby blue, pink sherbet, and lemon yellow all further painted childhood memories throughout. Her collection truly embodied the effortless, romantic feel of the Adjara region’s summer breeze.
If Batumi wasn’t already at the top of your list of must-see destinations, Tako Mekvabidze makes an invitation best answered. Her design process pays homage to the culturally rich city she grew up in and its many offerings: from ancient and unbroken culture, untouched flora, lush mountains, and of course the vast Black Sea. Tako truly reminds us how important it is to celebrate and mine our respective cultures while not compromising our individuality and unique vision within design.
Scroll down to see more images from the Tako Mekvabidze cruise 2020 show: