Why the Talk of Tbilisi Fashion Week Is a New Brand Based in Paris

 

At this season’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi, the talk of the town was not a local label, but rather a newcomer based in, of all places, Paris. TL-180, founded in 2010 as a bag brand by French-Italian designers Antonine Peduzzi and Luisa Orsini, first gained notice with its quirky-sleek carryalls, and its debut ready-to-wear collection, which showed this week—featuring silk pajama sets with outlined pockets, zip-up blouses with bell sleeves, and metallic wrap dresses—has that same nonchalant, oddball-chic vibe. It’s a quintessential blend of French and Italian elegance, with a bit of Georgian quirkiness in the mix, too.

Tbilisi might seem like an odd location for Parisian designers to choose to debut, but Georgia had always been on the duo’s mind. “The whole story was about showing in Georgia. We always talk about Tbilisi, and we wanted to start something new,” says Orsini. “We had the feeling that this Fashion Week would be fresh and authentic.” Tbilisi wasn’t a random choice, either. Orisini’s roots are, in fact, Georgian: “My mom was born in France because my grandfather had left Georgia when it was under Soviet rule,” she says. “We are obsessed with Georgia. She’s been taking us here since we were 3 or 4 months old.”

Peduzzi and Orsini infused a Georgian theme into the clothing, as well. Continuing the bag line’s theme featuring a different filmmaker each season, they based their Fall 2017 collection on the work of Sergei Parajanov, a Soviet director born in Georgia to Armenian parents, and specifically his film The Color of Pomegranates. “We wanted to give some references to Georgia because it is such a rich country,” Peduzzi says.

The pair also utilized the country’s traditional sewing techniques and talent. “We spent two months working with them in our laboratory and learning how to make some of the pieces,” Orsini says. “They use a technique where it’s like a wool that looks like it is boiled wool, but it’s not.” In addition, the set design, created by Victoria Salomoni, who also works with Gucci, incorporated a moon constructed out of wool that was made in the Kakheti region of Georgia. “This fabric was amazing. And the shadow made it look like 3-D. We went to the countryside and picked it up,” says Peduzzi. “Everything has been so magical here.”

Will the duo continue to use Georgia as a reference in their clothing? “Why not?” says Orsini. A label with French attitude, Italian quality, and a bit of Georgia’s up-and-coming flair? Sounds like a recipe for global success.

DEALMAN

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