Discovering Georgian Designer Tamuna Ingorokva

Discovering Georgian Designer Tamuna Ingorokva

Stylist Ketevan Gvaramadze gives V an insight into the inner workings of up-and-coming Georgian brand, Tamuna Ingorokva

Stylist Ketevan Gvaramadze gives V an insight into the inner workings of up-and-coming Georgian brand, Tamuna Ingorokva

Photography: Michael Beauplet

Styling: Ketevan Gvaramadze

Text: Grace Walker

What's one outcome of social unrest in Georgia under the Soviet Union? A splendidly chic designer brand. Tamuna Ingorokva is a name that’s been sporadically splashed across magazines and runways since the brand’s birth in 2002, hailed for its strong yet minimalist designs. However, unlike well-know designers of a similar calibre, the brand is no typical product of Western creation. Developed in the city of Tbilisi and inspired by eccentric art, Tamuna Ingorovka offers a perception that is beautifully individual. Delving into the brand’s humble history, V spoke to Ingorovka’s key stylist Ketevan Gvaramadze to learn about its unlikely background and creative quirks.

The first (and arguably most striking) detail brought to light was Tamuna Ingorokva's urban Georgian origins.  It is often difficult for designers to break into the industry if not already part of fashion’s geographical grid. New York, London, Paris, Milan—Tbilisi doesn’t quite ring the same bells of sartorial establishment, despite recent buzz around Georgia-born designer, and creative director of both Balenciaga and Vetements, Demna Gvasalia.

In many ways, though, the raw setting of Georgia’s capital city lends Ingorovka’s designs a unique spark, and channels a fresh perspective. Neatly wedged in-between Europe, Russia and the Middle East, Georgia has long been shaken by territorial disputes. The capital city reminisces its eventful past with a tapestry of Medeival, Neo-Classical, Art-Nouveau, Stalinist, and Modernist accents, all detectable in Tbilisi’s artwork and architecture. This line of eclectic influence is similarly a key characteristic of Ingorovka’s work, awarding the brand a cultural worth rarely seen in today's fashion industry.

Tamuna grew up in the turbulence of a civil war; times were tough and basics were scarce. As it did with many Georgian youngsters, suffocating constraint lit Tamuna’s yearning for adventure and exploration. So, after graduating from the Academy of Art in Tbilisi, Tumana headed to ESMOD, Paris’s International Fashion University, to pursue design at an advanced level. This marked the first professional venture for the designer, igniting a hunger for travel in the process, which has since become Tamuna’s greatest source of inspiration. She explains “I always travel. I start a voyage to grow my ideas into a new collection. It’s about celebrating the life and filling it with various new stories and with passion!”

When asked to define Tamuna Ingorokva’s signature style, Ketevan Gvaramadze dubbed it “minimalist and modern.” She added, “whats special is the quality and tailoring— everything is made in Tamuna’s atelier where she has a team of six tailors working for her…It’s all made in Georgia and is of an almost couture quality.” However, despite keeping the manufacturing process domestic, Tamuna channels her wandering spirit into her broad choice of fabrics—which she imports from Japan, Italy and France.

As for artistic inspiration, Tamuna takes influence from a wealth of names, notably Richard Serra and his Ramble Drawings. The sequence formed the basis of the S/S '16 collection, which mirrors an equal essence of freedom and fluidity.  The collection is described as “rambling outdoors, the streets of town, in go-nowhere stories, beyond the defined but daring to venture. Adventure is yet to begin.” As Ketevan lists other artists Tamuna takes inspiration from, including Donald Judd, Frank Jehry, and Michael Heizer, we begin to understand her love of unconfined creation. Ironically, she captures an incredibly liberated mood—the direct opposite to the dismal tone which overrode the Soviet Union era and decade of Ingorovka's childhood.

In line with the brand's signature sophistication, the latest collection spirals around a monochrome framework. As usual, the most striking features can be found in the details: cutout trends, exotic fabrics, and abundant use of leather, wool, and silk give the line a layered depth. Delivering on silhouette and style, the collection meets the painstakingly high expectations of industry leaders, which at such a juvenile age, nods to an affluent and promising future. And with Tamuna Ingorokva all set to spotlight her designs at upcoming New York shows, we're excited for a wave of intricate, Georgian-inspired influence in upcoming seasons.

Clothing Tamuna Ingorokva
Credits: Model :Marisha Urushadze

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