There was something different about Anouki Areshidze’s spring-summer 2017 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. There was actually spring and summer in it. And levity. That’s a scare substance in recent seasons. On one hand, zeitgeist is heavy. On the other, designers eye trend forecasters and elbow for retailers. No room for silliness. Unless it’s SpongeBob, or some such pre-certified smiley corporate remedy. Keep things bankable.
Anouki pulled off quite a feat: an assortment of off-kilter garments without the high brow kitsch that takes the fun out of functionality. Folk motives appear contemporary and even the neon polka dot print cannot derail a sense of genuine excitement for the joys of warm weather inside or outside the city limits. Alas, not everything worked: applique on denim looked more at home on Etsy than at a fashion week and the literally half-shirt/half-dress pieces were a tad forced. Must be the zeal of the new runway converts.
There is something else refreshingly earnest about Anouki. In recent years, the young Georgian brand made a point of selling exclusively to the domestic market with boutiques in the capital city Tbilisi and at the Black Sea resort Batumi. Judging by the latest creative effort, such admirable protectionist tactics won’t last for long. Mark you wish lists, fashionistas far and wide, Anouki is a-comin’!