More than 20 fashion designers and brands from the Caspian region took part in Azerbaijan Fashion Week, a stylish extravaganza held in Baku from May 23 – 27 that showcased the latest in clothing designs for the 2017/2018 autumn and winter seasons.
Now in its fifth year, the five-day event attracted fashion designers from Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Morocco, as well as international buyers. Top fashion magazines were present to cover the event, including Vogue, France’s L'Officiel and Azerbaijan’s Boutique Baku.
Opening day featured collections by Kazakhstan’s Jarkyn Baimakhanov, Georgia’s Eka Buzuladze, as well as three Azerbaijani fashion brands: K-Fabuel, Ulker Huseynova and Elnara Bekirova.
Georgian fashion designer Tinatin Magalashvili, whose collection was also exhibited on Tuesday, told Caspian News that Azerbaijan Fashion Week opens up new opportunities for designers.
“I often showcase my work during Belarusian Fashion Week, which has opened doors to Europe. But we have never really opened up to Asia. So we decided to participate in this event this year, here in Baku. The Asian market is much more interesting for Georgian fashion designers and generally for designers who are engaged in hand-made products,” said Magalashvili.
This year’s Azerbaijan Fashion Week was held at different venues throughout Baku, including the Old City, or Icherisheher, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Stone Chronicle Museum; the Fairmont Baku Hotel, located in Baku’s iconic Flame Towers, a modern complex of three buildings constructed in the form of flame; and at the nineteenth century Church of the Saviour, no longer in operation for religious services but used for events.
“While choosing venues for Azerbaijan Fashion Week, we sought to awaken interest in the national values of Azerbaijan, both in Azerbaijanis and the numerous guests who came to Baku to attend the event,” Sayad Dossybayev, Azerbaijan Fashion Week’s art director, told Caspian News.
The Stone Chronicle Museum, which houses some of Azerbaijan’s stone and epigraphic monuments, showcased the works of Yerlan Zholdasbek and Turkan Turkel, designers from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, on Wednesday. Zholdasbek’s collection consisted mostly of delicate lace dresses and bright outfits with traditional patterns and shiny details. For her part, Turkel presented a line of evening dresses with juicy colors. The culmination of her show was a dazzling wedding dress trimmed with lace and hundreds of sparkling stones.
The Dastan Fashion Show, a Fashion Week event held in the fifteenth century Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a UNESCO World Heritage historical monument, featured semi-traditional clothing lines with oriental ornaments. Kazakhstan’s Jado was featured, whose seasonal lines incorporated traditional colors like red and brown into collections that utilized silk and satin. Azerbaijani designer K-Fabuel, on the other hand, drew inspiration from light colors while using silk and denim as her mediums for this year’s autumn and winter collections.
Friday’s event, which was held in the Old City, featured a star-studded event with Azerbaijani celebrities and what could be described as haute couture for animals. Celebrities’ donned their pets, primarily cats and dogs, in woolen jackets, dresses, and denim-made clothing.
Famed Russian designer Igor Gulayev, best known for his fur collections combined with various fabrics, was an invited guest of French brand Guy Laroche, and presented his latest collection at the Baku Fairmont Hotel on Friday. Libas Couture, an Azerbaijani brand whose collection was sponsored by the legendary jewelry house Korloff, showcased its collection made in the style of heroes from Leo Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina.” Rounding out Friday’s events was Moroccan designer Albert Oiknine, who has had his work exhibited in Marrakech, Rome and Paris.
The first Azerbaijan Fashion Week was held in 2012. Since then more than 60 designers from around the world have taken part in Baku’s fashion event, which is held twice each year. The next Azerbaijan Fashion Week will be held in the fall, featuring spring and summer collections for 2018.